Yankees place Clint Frazier on the injured list

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Yesterday the Yankees went from 13 to 12 players on the injured list when catcher Gary Sánchez was activated. Progress! Last night it went back to 13, however, when outfielder Clint Frazier was put on the shelf. The announcement came following the Yankees’ win over the Angels in Anaheim.

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Radioactivity detected from a half-life of once every trillion universes

People in clean suits standing around a person-sized detector.

Enlarge / Some of the XENON1T hardware. (credit: XENON collaboration)

One of the ways we measure the age of the Earth is using the half-life of uranium. With a half-life of around four billion years, your typical atom of uranium only has even odds of having decayed during Earth’s entire history. But it only takes a few hundred atoms to up the odds for us to see enough decays to be able to accurately measure the age of something, even though the decay itself may be rare. In fact, with enough atoms, it’s possible to measure radioactive decays from events that have a half-life longer than the Universe’s age.

Now, researchers have used a tank full of two tonnes of liquid xenon, put together to detect dark matter, to identify the rarest decay ever detected. The XENON1T detector picked up some xenon atoms being transformed into tellurium, an event with a half-life measured at 1.8 x 1022 years—or about a trillion times the age of the Universe.

Tonnes of xenon

What’s the point of having two tonnes of liquid xenon in the first place? XENON1T was set up to detect a different but also extremely rare event: a dark matter particle bumping into one of the xenon atoms. This would impart enough energy to the atom to allow the event to be picked up by detectors that monitored the xenon tank. For this to work, however, the tank had to be shielded from any events that could also create a signal in the monitoring system. As a result, it was set up deep underground at Italy’s Gran Sasso facility, and any potentially radioactive contaminants were eliminated from the liquid xenon.

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Every Gone Fishin’ of 2019 NBA playoffs

The 2019 playoffs are well underway and the “Inside The NBA” crew has a watchful eye on every playoff series. But as teams see their playoff runs come to an end, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith give the traditional “Gone Fishin’ ” send-off that has been a staple of “Inside The NBA” for years.