Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


"Space Pistols" Are Fake!!

Another bad news for all you people fascinated by the normality of the abnormal. After having proven that two crystal skulls showcased in London and in Washington DC are in fact fakes (Read full story Here), now science has proven that the much hyped about 'Space Pistols' are also fake!!!

If you don't already know, the space pistols gained popularity (and of course the name) because they were claimed to be "crafted from the iron of a fallen meteorite from the Campo del Cielo crater in Argentina".They were a gift from the commander of a South American region, General Ignacio Alvares, which today is Argentina, to the fourth US president, James Madison.

The set of pistols underwent X-ray fluorescence tests, CT scans, and Neutron bombardment, before scientists concluded that they were infact fakes.

What I find funny is the height to which scientists will go to in the name of science. Neutron bombardments on artifacts?? I thought that neutron bombardments are used only in nuclear bombs and reactors!!Well this is infact what they conducted at the ISIS neutron source in Oxfordshire, UK. You HAVE to read the details of this process:

Protons travelling at nearly 3x10^8 m/s (the speed of light....incase you were sleeping in physics class) are made to strike a tungsten block, thus dislodging neutrons from the tungsten nucleus at a rate of nearly 20,000 trillion neutrons per second (thats 20000 million million or 2x10^16 neutrons per second) which in turn are made to bounce off the study sample (the pistols). the bounced neutrons are collected by sensors which record the energy and position of the neutrons which are studied by the scientists to reveal the atomic arrangements within the sample. Simple huh??

The colossal machine is able to probe matter at the atomic level, giving scientists unique insights into the structure and make-up of materials.

Most importantly, the entire process is non-destructive.

"Without ISIS, we'd have to take a hacksaw and cut chunks out of the artefact to look at under the microscope," explained Dr Evelyne Godfrey, who carried out the study.

And what did they find??
"They were completely different. There were differences in microstructures, there were differences in carbon content, there were differences in chemical composition."

The partially solved mystery could stop there; but the research team have one further mystery to solve.

A third pistol is mentioned in General Alvarez's letter that was also supposedly forged from Campo del Cielo (meteorite) iron. However it hes never been found till date....Perhaps it is this pistol which holds the secrets of the mysterious 'space pistols'!!

Sob Sob.....Another legend I believed in turns out to be fake...The only legend thats real is Santa Claus I guess......What?? He's fake too?? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!!

Hehe!! While searching for some information on the Campo Del Cielo Crater, I stumbled onto this site which is selling meteorites from that crater for as little as $177. Interested??

What my neutron beams tell you are where atoms are and what atoms do.We try to understand at a microscopic level the structure, arrangement and forces that hold materials together -- Professor Andrew Taylor, Director of ISIS



Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

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