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Comment Re:Isotopes != elements (Score 5, Informative) 220

There is probably a cloud containing nothing but radon (the heaviest elemental gas) somewhere in the universe as well, right? If that exists would it disprove the big bang, or would it simply have been there by chance for billions of years, just like this one could have been?

Hydrogen and helium isotopes (and a little bit of lithium and beryllium) are made in the Big Bang. Everything heavier is made in stars. So these pure clouds can exist only as long as there are no stars nearby to pollute them with heavier elements. Stars are common in the modern universe, which is why it has been so hard to find such clouds.

Radon in particular is made in supernova explosions (and by the decay of radioactives which were made in supernova explosions) and there is no natural mechanism to separate it back out from mixtures of supernova debris. So in a sense, yes, if a massive, primordial, pure radon cloud was out there, it would disprove the Big Bang theory's prediction of nucleosynthesis, which can only make light elements.


Submission + - Intel open-sources multicore programming toolkit ( 1

Doctor Memory writes: Intel has recently open-sourced their previously closed-source TBB 2.0 (Thread Building Blocks) C++ library. The library provides parallel algorithm templates for "task-based parallelism", emphasizing logical tasks instead of physical threads. The web site ( hosts an FAQ, a forum link, and a download page to get the latest version of the source. Licensed under GPLv2, Intel will continue to sell a commercial version of the library which will include engineering support. There's a more in-depth overview over at Ars Technica.

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere." -- Dr. Seuss