Re: Are *you* real, Katyanna?
I'm real, and I've been working at El Reg for over three years :')
4 posts • joined 15 Jun 2017
Yes - a xenon-124 atom does decay every couple of days or so. But it's not trivial to detect.
I was told that the detector can measure radiation events once every second. There are 112,320 seconds in ~1.3 days, so Xenon-1T has to detect that 1 xenon-124 decay event from all the 112,320 events every 1.3 days.
The detector has to be very sensitive and the researchers need to work out what background events to abandon to find that elusive xenon-124 decay. The Xenon experiment has been upgraded multiple times to make it more sensitive since it was first installed in 2006, so that explains why it's taken them so long to finally detect the decay.
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