Why a Dark Matter Search Also Observed The Rarest Radioactive Decays

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The Xenon1T experiment has made the first direct measurements of a radioactive half-life of Xenon 124, which is 18 Sextillion years – over 1 trillion times older than the universe.

Find out more about the Xenon1T experiment here:

Many isotope data images in this video are taken from periodictable.com

The best diagram of radioactive decays

  1. EditioCastigata

    Scott, what’s your take on the realism of the latest Game of Thrones battle?

  2. Wobblycogs Workshop

    Absolutely fascinating stuff. feel free to tell us more about nuclear physics anytime you like.

  3. 4one14

    “pushing out the limits on various corners of reality” – I love this phrase and the science and scientist who have done so!

  4. rodgersericv

    Well, the people who say that rockets can’t work in space, nuclear weapons don’t exist, and the Earth is flat, aren’t going to believe this.

  5. dosmastrify

    Hey Scott Manley, you should collab with PBS Spacetime

  6. Paul Nixon

    Please do more Nuclear Physics videos, super interesting stuff

  7. Nathan Lovel

    Bring back the old outro with the plucky harp sound, man that was the best. I que up an old video to the outro and play it to remember

  8. The Deviant Developer

    Love the videos but how about not having a hodge podge of junk behind you? Remove 80% of it and lay the rest out nicely…


    It didn’t really follow, but it did make me think of this joke:
    A neutron walks into a bar and asks “how much for a beer?” The bartender says, “for you? no charge.”

  10. Anik Samiur Rahman

    When Scott Manley becomes Anton Petrov. Just kidding, great video. nywy Anton’s videos are great too.

  11. Viesturs Siliņš

    Thank you Scott, this was one of your most interesting videos for me! I love to learn about things I didn’t know that I didn’t know.
    Sorry for breaking the round comment count number!

  12. MonsterSound

    But Scott … Give us a sign … 11:48 … oh dear 👀
    j/k love your content.

  13. Dragonhealer

    Scott Manley,
    Hypotheses, not theories…..

  14. Szabolcs Tompa

    I started to wach this chanel for kerbal sp but now days i like this kind of content more [astronomi]

  15. Charlie Harris

    It is a very interesting subject
    Thanks for sharing Scott

  16. Tim Stoffel

    Thanks for another fascinating video about nuclear physics!

  17. Georgi Chh

    Re: Dark matter quote “it flows”? What does he(do you) mean?

  18. Le Z

    1 trillion!!! incredible. we must “bring” the dark matter into the light. success.

  19. canyoubelieveit

    I love your Chemistry talks. Please include more!

  20. Marc Niece

    Ive been watching you for some time, only now subscribed… But youve been a go to, 4 sure. Wonderfull updates on the latest things, you really flush things out in an easy to follow descriptive way. Super-Cryo-Cool… Thanks !

  21. Silent002

    I want to get off Mr Manley’s Wild Ride.

  22. Matthieu Ledoux

    Wow great video that I wasn’t expecting ! I never understood what metastable meant in particle physics, thank you so much !

  23. AntimatePcCustom

    i can feel i haven’t had enough coffee to keep up x’D maybe seeing this movie 9 in the morning is to early :P

  24. paintbing

    Thanks for pronouncing “iodine” correctly!

  25. dosmastrify

    I understood hello I’m Scott Manley

  26. Jim Cole

    Half way through and you lost me Scott, hehehe. Too much science for my brain.

  27. RocKiteman _ 2001

    And all this time I thought *dark matter* was _Nibbler poop…😊_

  28. MaxBrix

    It’s not dark matter. It’s heavy space.

  29. strange lee

    All very interesting but it doesn’t answer the question i asked : Why is my bellybutton fluff always blue?
    Edit…if any of you nerds even mention ‘Doppler’ i shall give you all wedgies!

  30. Just Looking

    14:12 “180m Ta, 2Fast 2Die”, in theaters spring 2525.

  31. Michael McGinley

    That was much different than most of your other videos. Listened to the whole presentation and enjoyed the exploration. Nice work. 🙂

  32. Eletronicafg

    Would be interesting if one day we could release the energy of metastable isotopes in a controlled manner without putting more energy than the decay produces. Would be like a RTG that we can turn on and off.

  33. Caonabo Javier

    SCOTT: You should be teaching at MIT or Caltech. Thanks for teaching me so much.

  34. Bob Shorkey

    Scott, thanks for the great videos. I’m a geek that loves this stuff!

  35. Owen Smith

    Is there anything that Scott Manley does not know? Rockets and Nuclear Physics, what a great combination! (literally, in the case of Project Dyson).

  36. Wayne Karre

    Scott, excellent work. This vid returns you to subject matter (pardon pun) that has made your channel so watchable. Well done!

  37. egollaa

    Why does Xenon-135 have such a high cross-section for thermal neutrons?
    I think it was discovered at Hanford B where it almost derailed production of Plutonium for the Manhattan Project. It also contributed to the instability of the reactor at Chernobyl.

  38. TraitorVek

    Einstein can’t spell ‘m’ – Fuzzy haired Crackpot

  39. Henry Bevan

    Really enjoyed this! more please!

  40. Player1

    by what i recall having seen of your dad i think he would be proud of what you’re doing here :)
    thanks for all the excursions into rocket- and even nuclear science!

  41. nfijef

    You love talkin’ about it, I love hearin’ about it. Thanks Prof Manley.

  42. Alain Martel

    What if dark matter is a strange kind of extra-heavy neutrinos that tend to only travel at sub-relativistic speed, like less than 0.1 c…
    Have mass, but lack the momentum needed to be detected.

  43. Fae Yen

    Thank you for not going easy on us, Scotty. Science is best when it plays hard to get <3

  44. nulious

    Thank you for the crash course in nuclear physics.

  45. Nikola Fitilyov

    Makes a usual video explaining a bit of a science discovery
    Gives a crash course in nuclear physics along the way
    I’m fascinated. :)

  46. emgee44

    I couldn’t get to sleep the other night…this really helped.
    This went way over my head and unlike Drax, I couldn’t catch it.
    Longest half-life? Gotta be an oxymoron.
    But seriously Scott, love your channel and always tune in.

  47. Nikola Fitilyov

    Makes a usual video explaining a bit of a science discovery
    Gives a crash course in nuclear physics along the way
    I’m fascinated. :)

  48. Sean McDonough

    11:03 – So why not simply emit an electron carrying a humongous amount of kinetic energy?

  49. D_boi

    A group of 12 or more cows is called a flink

  50. DerStolzeRitter

    Loved the topics and the way you presented then.
    You’ve been doing wonderful work, Scott!

  51. Lrr_Of_Omikron

    I’m not smart enough to understand but it sounds brilliant and now I wanna learn more. Also Lukas M, that was freaking hilarious. You win best comment.

  52. mjproebstle

    i am my own anti particle. if i look in the mirror, BOOM, i’m gone

  53. David Messer

    Thanks professor!
    The nice thing about the long decay period of Xe 124 is that they won’t have to change the element in the detector for probably at least one Sextillion years. That makes it more cost-effective!

  54. GibsnRage

    Super glad you enjoy talking about this stuff, I super enjoy listening!

  55. Wallace McDonut

    “Too fast to die, too slow to live” ….new Fast n Furious movie title suggestion?

  56. Rusty Redbeard

    “Too fast to die” – who says particle decay isn’t cool?

  57. Mercy Chalk

    “Most of the theories [of modified gravity] are garbage and have failed terribly”. As a cosmologist, I lol’ed. A truth I wish I could get away saying out loud in my professional life.

  58. Lloyd Evans

    One slight quibble with your definitions of inverse beta decay: I was always under the impression that this was when a proton spat out a positron (aka anti-electron) to become a neutron. What you described here is a proton absorbing an electron to become a neutron, which I always understood to be “K-capture”, since the electron required comes from the innermost electron orbits of the same atom, not from some exterior source. Also, when K-capture occurs, an electron from one of the outer orbits has to jump down and replace the one which was captured, and this jump is accompanied by the emission of an X-ray.
    This is similar to how commercial X-ray sources actually generate X-rays: A heavy, water-cooled disc of copper is bombarded with high velocity electrons from a powerful electron gun, causing some of the inner orbit electrons in the copper to be knocked out of place. When outer orbit electrons drop down to replace them, the energy level jump coincides with X-ray photons, so these are emitted. Of course not all of the inner orbits are of the same energy, so you get a variety of different X-ray wavelengths by this method, and probably some UV as well. Hence why CRT screens often produce some low-level X-rays.

  59. friedrichluna

    A few hours before you uploaded this Video I held an 1h+ presentation in my class about the exact same topic. The bases for this presentation where your going nuclear videos. Thanks for all that, keep doing such videos and I’m gonna share this with my physics class as a follow up.😄

  60. StYxXx

    Yes, please, talk more about this stuff :D

  61. Jean Ehrenberger

    “The nucular forces…” honhonhon :D
    Really nice explanation of the topic, as always Scott! It’s always a great experience to watch your videos, be it scientific matters or plain ol’ gaming :)

  62. AeroSpaceNews.com

    Crazy info-rich video Scott! Amazing job on a complicated topic.

  63. Robert Taylor

    Thanks Scott – I really enjoyed your cracking explanation of this subject – fascinating!

  64. E2qNX8btraQ3zRD6J7fc

    Scott Manley, MORE PLEASE. Thank you.

  65. Squiggummer Figgammus

    Yo Scott, no-one has been able to answer this question for me so far that I’ve talked to. Why is it that elements 43 and 61 fail to have stable isotopes.
    Does the universe just hate those numbers? I’ve tried to look into it myself but the information has proven hard to find.

  66. Cirne Songs

    “Pushing Out The Limits On Various Corners Of Reality” was the name of my High School garage band….

  67. Joseph Kane

    Administratium is an element that gets heavier and has no half life!

  68. Archaeopteryx128

    Reminds me of several years ago when the French measured decay in Bismuth 209.
    That meant Bismuth 209 was no longer the heaviest stable isotope in the periodic chart.

  69. Evan

    “Too fast to die”

  70. Kellerkind

    What about Elerium 115 ? how long is it’s decay time ?

  71. Ice Ih

    Honestly I could have listened to another 15 minutes (or more) of this. It really interests me! Plus you do a mighty good job explaining

  72. Sapo

    A quibble: Nucleus is the singular, so referring to “one nuclei” of hydrogen makes me grit my teeth to get past that part.

  73. Drew Christensen

    Some of these videos I don’t understand at all, but I keep listening because his voice is soothing. It makes me feel like at least _somebody_ out there is smart and is working on important problems (and not trying to show me a meme to convince me the Earth is flat).

  74. Thermophile

    I think I have learned more from you than any other YouTuber. Especially when it comes to nuclear physics and rockets.
    I love this sort of video, keep it up!🖤

  75. Jeffrey Bue

    I obviously need to brush up on physics

  76. htomerif

    I wonder what neutrinos taste like. I bet their flavor is dynamic.

  77. ŠP

    Hey Scott, what do you think about the discovery of helium hydride in the NGC 7027 nebula? Can you tell us something about that?

  78. Agamemnon

    180mTa: I have the longest half-life!
    Proton: Hold my beer.

  79. Mike234

    Too fast to die?
    Could it be that we have found Sonic the Hedgehog’s spirit isotope?

  80. Arthur O'Brien

    3,5T of Xenon. That is certainly a walk in the park to refine from mixed gasses, I assume.

  81. GeorgeMonet

    Watching grass grow is more fun than watching Xenon 124 decay.

  82. Alex Landherr

    It’s nice when the news on nuclear physics doesn’t involve a weapons test of any kind.

  83. Craftymethod

    Awesome work Scott, very imformative. Richard Feynman would be proud the way you descibed a few of those things.

  84. iforce2d

    This video made me feel dum. Thanks Scott :)

  85. Bert Lensch

    I remember covering subatomic particles and their properties in high school chemistry, but was able to understand a lot more than I thought I would because of physics. A very awesome and exciting insight on the subject!

  86. Sean Jones

    My brain has just oozed out of my ears. I’ll have to watch this a few times.

  87. Bear Mro

    Says “I want to give you a real quick crash course on nuclear physics”, and does so.

  88. Michael Kalin

    Well now I expect a video about the pioneer 10 anamoly

  89. injustice fellow

    I understood nothing in this video and am but a simple KSP player

  90. Ente Fetz

    Wow, I just finished my bachelor in physics and this video probably taught me more than a full 2 hour lecture normally would !
    Did not know you are also really into nuclear physics.
    Please make more of this kind of videos !
    There are really not enough people talking about stuff like that on here.

  91. Oscar Cuchilo

    Oh this crash course on physics was beautiful! Really enjoyed it

  92. Damian P

    Tell us about this pioneer 10 anomaly?
    Hopefully before protons decay

  93. Survival + Stuff

    15 seconds in and i’m like what?
    15 minutes in and i’m still like what?

  94. Don Guru de Bro

    So basically cause they werent able to find Dark Matter, one of the most common things in the universe, and got bored so they looked at other things which happen at the meantime, like some of the rarest things in the universe – cause they are apparently easier to find – to kill time..? :)

  95. Darryl Masson

    As someone that worked on XENON1T for 4 years, the result is very interesting and someone will find it useful but almost everyone is exaggerating the impact of this result. Literally no one would build a dedicated experiment to look for this decay, this is a case of “hey, we have a few petabytes of data on disk, what cool things can we do with this?”

  96. Jack Meadows

    Scott, do more nuclear physics! I love this stuff

  97. Cody'sLab

    3.5 tons of xenon?! wow they are throwing some serious cash at this problem.

  98. Nathaniel Pool

    Ta 180m: “I am speed”
    Also Ta 180m: “if this bus goes under 8 units of speed I’ll explode!”

  99. Trevor Lorimer

    “To understand why this is I want to give you a very rough… crash course on nuclear physics.”
    Well, that’s why we’re here, obviously.

  100. Lukas M

    Longest Half-life to occurr is Half-Life 3

Comments are closed.