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Atomic Number Of Xenium


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#1 Lemmus

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Posted 22 February 2004 - 06:51 PM

I've followed Project Xenocide for quite a while, but it's been a while since my last visit to the site. I think the project staff have a very healthy outlook on the project, and thus I believe that this is actually going to be finished someday, instead of fading into nothing, like most similar projects do.

I was browsing the artwork gallery when I noticed the new name you had given Elerium 115. I've got no problems with the name Xenium, actually, I think it's pretty good. I understand that you have to change the name, to avoid Intellectual Property infringement. And if "xeno" means "alien", I guess "xenium" means "alien matter" or something similar. That's fair enough, and not particularly cheesy.

But I must object a little to your changing the atomic number of the alien matter. As you may know, the atomic number is the number of protons in the atomic core of an atom. But you generally don't get atoms with more than 92 protons in their core in nature. This is because when you get above this limit, the atoms become very unstable and decay quickly. When they decay, they get rid of protons and other stuff in their cores (neutrons) by throwing them out. This is called radiation, a phenomenon I'm sure you've heard of.

But what's so special about element 115, I hear (or rather, imagine) you ask? Well, there has been a number of more-or-less scientific theories about this element. (This is more or less mumbo-jumbo to me, but check this out if you like.) These theories write element 115 down as a sort of fantastic mystery element, and it's supposed to be stable and has been connected with antigravity. And this is the important bit: A lot of conspiracy theorizin' ufologist crackpots say that this is the stuff that powers UFOs. It's not a coincidence that the original X-COM chose this element for the alien power source.

As I mentioned, these high-numbered elements generally don't exist in nature. But it's possible to make them yourself (although you need something a little more advanced than stuff you can find around the house). Briefly, what you do, is collide two atoms against each other, they melt together, and you get an atomic number that's the sum of the two atoms' atomic numbers. At least until your new atom decays. This is a really difficult process, though. Element 115 hasn't been successfully synthesized before earlier this year, and the amounts we're talking about are, oh, probably in the region of one atom.

What I'm be thinking, gamestory-wise, is that the aliens may have found some clever way to synthesize this element, in large amounts. Since this would be a highly difficult process, X-COM might not be able to duplicate it. They might not even be able to understand it, if they need to study the equipment that the aliens are using to realize how it works. This equipment might be on Mars, or even further away. Far enough that X-COM won't be able to get their hands on it until long after the game is over. Or they could be able to synthesize it themselves, at a ridiculously high cost or something. But this would be tampering with important mechanics of the original game, and I don't think you devs want that.

I'm sorry about the long physics lecture, but I think science is an important part of science fiction. If you don't retain at least a veneer of scientific credibility, you can quickly devolve into Star Trek-ish rubbish. Anyone with an elementary understanding of science will be able to poke holes in your descriptions, and you don't want that, do you?

Bear in mind that I'm not really an expert on this, I just study physics and chemistry at school. I'd love to hear corrections from someone who understands this better than me. Or even questions from people who don't.

By the way, this banana guy :happybanana: was really annoying me as I wrote this. It looks very, uhm, special.

#2 stewart

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 08:06 AM

Let's use Aurthur C Clarks number 149, it ought to be awhile before they make any of that?
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#3 Tuoppi

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 08:48 AM

In one my physics books there are graphs that shows all forces in atom as function of number of nucleus. (All known forces that is, gravity is a bit sketchy at quantum physics level) sorry that i cannot get it here, but it shows that elements 114, 115, 116 and 117 are possibly stable at certain neutron count (Or at least fairly lowly radioactive).

This is the difficulty, it is fairly easy to get certain number of protons into an atom, but you need to have certain number of neutrons in there too to keep electromagnetic forces of protons from ripping your new atom into bits. This comes essentialy from getting positive protons far enough from each other. And the heavier atom, relative neutrons count is greater, so you need exotic isotopes or some other way to get those extra neutrons there.

Also every stable atom weights less than the sum of its separated nucleus, as E=mc^2 and everything in world tries to go to energy minimum (Thing called entropy).

This is quite rough simplification, and more you simplify usually means the more you lie, so sorry if my physics teacher reads this :master:

I think Clarke just pulled that 149 out of his hat, it has no base on reality... :huh?:

#4 Lemmus

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Posted 23 February 2004 - 08:54 AM

Sure enough, but as I said, what's so special about element 115 is its conspiracy theory scientific connection with antigravity and UFOs. I think it'd be better to choose an element that has some basis in "reality" instead of just picking one out of thin air. If you want reasons for X-COM not being able to make Xenium themselves , apart from the one I mentioned (they not being able to make significant amounts of it), you can say that Xenium is a strange and exotic isotope of element 115 (different isotopes have different amounts of neutrons in their cores, and different levels of stability). Humanity might not have the first idea how to make the particular isotope of element 115 that the aliens use.

The fact that element 115 has been synthesized doesn't mean that it's not usable for unattainable alien propulsion material in sci-fi. The synthesis that was done recently (article), made four atoms of the stuff, and the particular isotope that they made lasted for about 90 milliseconds, or 0.09 seconds, before it decayed.

By the way, was there anything particular that Clarke connected with element 149? I've read a lot of his stuff, and haven't come over that yet. But I'm curious as to what properties he gave it. Clarke is, after all, a pretty credible sci-fi author.

(After I posted this, I noticed that someone had posted something else while I was writing this. I'd like to point out that this was a reply to stewart. And Tuoppi - yeah, this is the kind of thing I'm talking about. I'm glad we agree.) :beer:

Edited by Lemmus, 23 February 2004 - 08:58 AM.


#5 stewart

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 07:44 AM

Nothing to do with elements, the monolith was 1 by 4 by 9.
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#6 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 02:05 PM

We chose 122 because 115 was already taken! :D
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#7 Lemmus

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 07:14 AM

I can't imagine that choosing 115 would be intellectual property infringement, even though X-COM used it too... And as I've said, there are good reasons for choosing 115 instead of just some high number pulled out of a hat.

#8 Tuoppi

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 12:10 PM

Agreed totally. Element 115 is so legendary, that it should not be changed. It has been in sci-fi in far more than once... And it has base in reality too. If absolutely needed, i might accept use of 114,116 or 117 instead.

#9 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 06:20 PM

Hey, 117 is not that bad, maybe our own signature element number?

#10 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 08 March 2004 - 06:47 PM

115 Would be nice. 117 would be nice too, but that one is already taken by Bungie and Halo! :D
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#11 Lemmus

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 01:23 PM

That's ridiculous. There's no way you can "take" an element. Would you refrain from mentioning element 26 (ferrum, commonly known as iron) anywhere because it's "taken" by Iron Aces, Iron Storm, Iron Soldier or Ivan Stewart's Ironman?

#12 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 01:57 PM

You misunderstand. The number 117 is already Bungie's signature number.

I could live with 115. Especially if we can think up a new name that begins with E.
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#13 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 02:02 PM

You don't like "Xenium"? It's the plural of 'Xenia'-

A present given to a guest or stranger, or to a foreign ambassador.

Technically, the aliens gave it to us as a gift, right? :)
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#14 Flaser

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 04:00 PM

Heavy elements can be gained by neutron bombing another heavy element.

This is actually how the whole atom story started (read up on Rutherford, Fermi, Szilard and you'll be amazed.)

-These new atoms are Isotopes, so they are not stable most of the time

The figure goes like this I'll use a prefix to indicate Z(number of protons) and postfix for A (sum of neutrons and protons, the weith of the nucleus in practice the atoms weight since electrons conrtibute roughly a thousadth of the weight)

n + z-X-a ---> z-X-a+1 ---beta minus fission---> z+1-Y-a+1 + e + y

The n is a neutron that can be gained from a fission reaction or an irradiated (alpha (He2+) rays) element produces it (Be for instance).
Then the element expells an electron, so the neutron it received becomes a proton and it essentially becomes a new element. The y is an antineutrino

The problem is very heavy nuclei have a very short half-life most of the time.

The reason why a stable heavy element may exist is that there could be an electron stucture where a new type of layer (I can't translate it any better) comes into existense, using more electrons than layer f (the layers are s(2 electrons), p(6), d(10), f(15?)) say g - which would lead to a super heavy element, that could have unknown radiactive properties - like its electrons would emmit a super-powered EMWaves when dischargin which are very close to gravitons.

So you take Xemium-142 (from Dougless Adams - 42) and charge as you do with a neon lamp - then instead ligt it emmits gravitons.

Edited by Flaser, 09 March 2004 - 04:04 PM.


#15 centurion

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 01:38 AM

The reason why a stable heavy element may exist has nothing to do with its electron configuration, it depends on the configuration of protons and neutrons in the nucleus.

Btw, electron layers are not filled up "from the bottom up" (try distinguishing lantanoids and you'll see what happens when the layer that's filling up is not "close to the surface").
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#16 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 06:14 AM

I don't know if there's really a point in discussing this, this is supposed to be a game, no one is going to dislike the name Xenium 122 for example just because scientifically it isn't correct or appropiate. Appealing is what we should be looking in a number for the Xenium, or just stick with the one we have, 122, there's not going to be a difference. ^_^

#17 Tuoppi

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 08:27 AM

Nooooooooo... :whatwhat: Keep it Xenium-115!! Please??

#18 Lemmus

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 07:57 PM

I don't know if there's really a point in discussing this, this is supposed to be a game, no one is going to dislike the name Xenium 122 for example just because scientifically it isn't correct or appropiate.

We are. :wave:

The word "science" is in the term "science fiction" for a reason, you know. And there's really no reason to change the atomic number of the alien matter (Elerium, Xenium, whatever you want to call it - by the way, I think Xenium is a pretty good name for it) unless you want to avoid using the same atomic number of X-Com, for some reason. Actually, I think keeping 115 will make the game more appealing for people who know their science and fun pseudo-science. There are very good reasons for using 115, that's why they used it in the original X-Com as well.

#19 cd12

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 09:24 AM

I didn't know the number can be intellectual property...

Xenium - 115

I see nothing wrong with that. Sci-fi should be based on reality and even if you implement a new piece of technology in sci-fi it faces sci-reality of today.

I thing the number should be altered to 115.

#20 centurion

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 11:26 AM

Why on earth do we want to assign a number to Xenium, especially hinting in any way that it would be an atomic number? It's so much easier to fudge around concepts that are not rooted firmly to what people doing physics think to know pretty well.
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#21 Static

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 04:44 AM

why cant you just use the name that real world scientists have given it (Ununpentium-115)

definitely cant be any kind of intellectual property debate on that.. its science!

noone owns the rights to the periodic table... especially not Atari

#22 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 05:21 AM

But Uup doesn't flow very well in normal conversation.
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#23 j'ordos

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 05:36 AM

Besides, that's a preliminary name, it's a naming system based on it's atom number, what they give newly discovered elements when they haven't tought of a suitable definitive name yet.
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#24 Lemmus

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 12:11 PM

why cant you just use the name that real world scientists have given it (Ununpentium-115)

Easy enough: Ununpentium, or whatever the scientists decide to call it when they get around to giving it a proper name, is the name for all atoms with 115 protons in their core. Xenium would be the name for one particular, stable isotope - different isotopes have different numbers of neutrons in their core, and thus different properties. All of the different isotopes are still Ununpentium, but there's nothing wrong with giving them their own names, especially isotopes with particularly interesting properties.

Anyway, people, I really think you should go with element 115. I mean, not only is it sensible, it's legendary - the kind of thing X-Files episodes are made of. You've already written a pretty decent description (the one I've seen in the Xenocide alpha X-Net slideshow), and I can't understand why you walked away from that one.

#25 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 02:21 PM

I think the idea was that we wanted to stay as far away from the original names as possible.
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#26 Lemmus

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 01:45 PM

Even so, there would be nothing wrong with making Xenium an isotope of element 115. I can understand that you don't want to call it Xenium-115 when the original was Elerium-115 (even I'll admit that it'd be quite a bit of a name ripoff). But even so, you could call it Xenium and mention in the X-Net description that it's one particular stable isotope of element 115, with very special properties. Properties like the ones you attributed to Distortium in the alpha. I think we've already established that element 115 isn't "taken" by the original X-Com, haven't we?

Is my endless nattering getting through to any of the CT people yet? ^_^

#27 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 01:50 PM

Is my endless nattering getting through to any of the CT people yet?  ^_^

The one you really want to talk to is Tzuchan. Last I checked, he was the one doing the Xenium entry. Of course...If you are this passionate about writing, you could always join the CTD and voice your opinions! :D
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#28 j'ordos

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 11:45 AM

Here's a website with the gathered information on Uup up til now (not that it's that much :rolleyes: ): http://www.webelemen...xt/Uup/key.html
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#29 floater medic

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 01:04 PM

If you dont mannage to resolve this atomic number problem you could just call it Xenium?

maybe im just being dense but you dont have iron26 do you?
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#30 Kamikazee

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 01:56 PM

I think we should leave it as plain Xenium, say its atomic value is high but that it cannot be measured due to its fast decay when it comes in contact with most forms of energy or some b0ll0cks like that. To be quite honest i dont think many people give two, except the geeks of course. cough* :D

#31 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 02:08 PM

The unusual gravity and radiation that the Xenium produces keeps throwing off the measuring instruments. It's atomic weight is somewhere between 1 and a million. ^_^

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Edited by Robo Dojo 58, 22 March 2004 - 02:08 PM.

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#32 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 22 March 2004 - 02:25 PM

"Our attempts to measure the mass of this wierd element have met with failure. Conventional means of accelerating atoms and observing scatter diagrams do not work: Xenium simply decays when given a meager amount of energy. This makes the element ideal for use as fuel and energy source: the element is impossibly active and responds equally violently to both chemical and radioactive stimuli."
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#33 centurion

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 01:36 AM

If you don't call it 'element', no such questions can be asked, and I think that would be good.
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#34 Lemmus

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 02:22 AM

"Our attempts to measure the mass of this wierd element have met with failure. Conventional means of accelerating atoms and observing scatter diagrams do not work: Xenium simply decays when given a meager amount of energy. This makes the element ideal for use as fuel and energy source: the element is impossibly active and responds equally violently to both chemical and radioactive stimuli."

Sounds like that'd be bit of a bugger to contain. When an atom decays, it does release radioactive stimuli (alpha or beta rays, and gamma rays). If one of those atoms decayed, it'd shoot out radioactivity, and quite likely hit another atom, which then would decay and so forth. Kind of like what happens in a nuclear reactor, except this wouldn't be controllable at all. And if it reacts violently to radioactive stimuli, it wouldn't be safe anywhere that high-energy photons can get at it (which is, more or less, everywhere in the universe).

Accelerating atoms and observing scatter diagrams does, as far as I remember, require the atom to be ionized (lacking an electron, or having one extra). You could say that the atom doesn't take kindly to not having the same number of electrons as protons, but those techniques are soooo 50's. ^_^ I'm sure there must be a better, modern, way of measuring atomic mass.

If you don't call it 'element', no such questions can be asked, and I think that would be good.

It's science fiction, for chrissakes, not Star Trek. Stuff is expected to be at least slightly credible. If it isn't, well, that makes it look really, really cheesy to anyone who knows any real science.

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#35 centurion

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 02:26 AM

Exactly, Lemmus, it's less credible to say "Xenium is an isotope of element 115" than not to say it's a pure element (you can think alloy, composite material, anything like the stuff floating around these topics like micro black holes).
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#36 Tuoppi

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 06:26 AM

What is the problem in saying Xenium is a stable isotope of element 115? I don't see the point in chancing it. :huh?:
Xenium is a convenient name and should be general name used everywhere, and [Ufopaedia] has all the technobabble including nuclear physics.

All of the elements have radioactive isotopes. We call element 26 iron although it has 4 stable and 7 known more-or-less radioactive isotopes. Generally iron refers to the stable ones, why not here?

My fiction:
Element 115 is stable with certain neutron count (isotope), we call this Xenium because of its origins. Element 116 with same neutron count spontaneously annihilates completely into gamma radiation(half-life of a microsec). [Power source] is a fairly simple device that shoots protons into Xenium as wanted, contains resulting gamma radiation and converts it into useful energy forms.

Anything wrong with that concept? (I know that annihilaiton generally means anti-matter, but making up that explanation would be too deep IMO.)

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#37 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 11:19 AM

Hmmm. Does anyone know any other means of measuring atomic mass (some modern way) that doesn't include energising the atom in some way?

BTW: It may be that Xenium only decays in gamma rays (we are talking about an alien element here, so it doesn't have to follow the rdioactive rules we know of), and that stops it from going through a chain reaction. You could come up with a way to explain a technology that stops Xenium from going through chain reaction, but I think this "gamma ray only" raditon is better because than it means it gives off huge amounts of energy when going through the radioactive decay (instead off giving out aplha or beta particles which have mass, it turns all of that mass into gamma rays and gives off HUGE amounts of energy).

Am I the only one that thinks this "impossible to measure atomic mass" idea is cool?
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#38 Jesus Escariut

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 12:54 PM

Okay... I figured out an easy way to contain large quantities of antimatter safely... at least i think it would be safe.. and after antimatter goes through a cryotempering it may be more stable then originally, perhaps stable enough to be used like a bullet? :uzzi:

here is my solution... Bose Einstien Condensation ... yep.. the ol' if you get it cold enough it will loose all its properties. This can be done now days actually i think it was back in 97... or was it later that they were able to make it. the 3 scientist used lasers to cool the atoms to the point of being .0003 of a degree above absolute zero. Now if we assume that this works on antimatter , and no reason it shouldnt since antimatter is still matter, then we could safely contain it.
:explode:

Cryotempering occurs when metal is cooled below (250 not positive about this will have to look up the exact number) it basically re-aligns the atoms so it is stronger and more stable. After this occurs steel no longer has micro fractures. I'm sure the creative text dept. can come up with something cool. ^_^

#39 Lemmus

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 02:03 PM

Exactly, Lemmus, it's less credible to say "Xenium is an isotope of element 115" than not to say it's a pure element (you can think alloy, composite material, anything like the stuff floating around these topics like micro black holes).


Your opinion on what the X-Net database should say about what Xenium is, is that it should say nothing? I don't agree. There should be at least some explanation on what it is. Both first X-COM games give an explanation as to what the alien propulsive matter is - Elerium-115 being atoms with element numbers of 115 (they didn't have to worry about isotopes in 1993, as Uup hadn't been synthesized yet), and Zrbite being a gold/bio-material alloy (how is that possible?). And I don't understand how you can see Xenium being an exotic isotope of element 115 being any less credible than anything else. If anything, I think it's more plausible.

Hmmm. Does anyone know any other means of measuring atomic mass (some modern way) that doesn't include energising the atom in some way?

BTW: It may be that Xenium only decays in gamma rays (we are talking about an alien element here, so it doesn't have to follow the rdioactive rules we know of), and that stops it from going through a chain reaction. You could come up with a way to explain a technology that stops Xenium from going through chain reaction, but I think this "gamma ray only" raditon is better because than it means it gives off huge amounts of energy when going through the radioactive decay (instead off giving out aplha or beta particles which have mass, it turns all of that mass into gamma rays and gives off HUGE amounts of energy).

Am I the only one that thinks this "impossible to measure atomic mass" idea is cool?


I must admit that it seems that I was wrong when I stated that mass spectrometry was old hat. It seems that it's the technique that's still used to measure atomic mass. And you're right when you say that it involves tampering with the atoms (ionizing them by "hoovering" out an electron). But if Xenium is so unstable that it can't even handle losing an electron, there's no way it would remain stable in nature (I'm assuming the aliens mine it from somewhere in the universe - synthesizing it themselves would be st00pid even if it has some extreme properties like gravity manipulation - it'd require laughable amounts of energy, for one). And gamma rays are photons too. If one (from an adjacent Xenium atom that just went critical, or some other source) hit a Xenium atom, it would (according to Einstein's theory of photoeletric effect) knock an electron out of the atom entirely, and the Xenium atom would go critical and start a chain reaction with its adjacent Xenium atoms. Thus, there's no way Xenium could be naturally occuring, with your idea applied.

Jeezus Escariut: I must admit I know nothing about the Bose-Einstein Condensate, except for its name. But it sounds like it'd require so much energy that it wouldn't be very useful. And I don't think it'd help with blocking high-energy photons. And a note: What we're suggesting is not that Xenium is antimatter, but that it's an exotic isotope of element 115. And there's already a way of containing antimatter so that it doesn't touch normal matter - by using a combination of magnetic and electric fields, called a Penning trap.

Edit: Apparently, the forums censor such controversial words as the name that starts with "Je" and ends with "sus". In this case, the word was changed to "gee whiz", and I changed it back to something understandable.

Edited by Lemmus, 23 March 2004 - 02:07 PM.


#40 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 02:18 PM

Damn. Forgot about the photoelectric effect. Gamma partciles would mess up the system then... So the aliens are either mining it (not very likely) or they are producing it by some kind of technology we can't figure out yet (simply bombarding atoms with each other doesn't give us Xenium). Which would make sense, but that's like pushing my idea of "can't figure out atomic mass" to make it work.

And you really can't push ideas to make them fit (not that much at least).

Anyway, thx for refreshing my physics :)
Passenger ship terror site, first turn, I open the door of my Triton, there is a Tasoth up on the next floor (his back is facing the screen so I don't know what weapon he has).

One of my guys fire at him, hit, he reaction fires with Thermal Shock Launcher. The whole crew stunned. Mission over.

#41 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 02:37 PM

(I'm assuming the aliens mine it from somewhere in the universe - synthesizing it themselves would be st00pid even if it has some extreme properties like gravity manipulation - it'd require laughable amounts of energy, for one)


What's so stupid about making fuel that is nearly 100% efficient? The human race already has large powerplants pumping out hydrogen for fuel cells. Why? It's lighter and has more power. We'll probably even see powerplants making only fuel for fuel cells. I suspect the aliens would do the same.
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

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#42 cd12

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 03:31 PM

What about this: Xenium, it is an element with unknown mass number, furthermore, when scientists try to define the mass by running a test on it, it reacts so violently that the whole lab goes boom!!! ...and you have to build a new one... (+scientist lost...)

:LOL: :explode: :LOL:

P.S. And if there happen to be living quarters next to it some soldiers are wounded! Not to mention that whole base could be radioactive!!!

btw, I am not serious... :happybanana:

#43 j'ordos

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 04:09 PM

Related, but not really the same: we can make all of this discussion if we bring the aliens a little more down-to-earth: the mysterious element they are using is nothing more than (drumbeat) Helium-3, and the powersource is a nuclear reactor, fusing Helium-3 atoms. It's easy, understandable, plausible (well, all of those: more-or-less ;) ). Plus, it probably can be found in huge amounts in the solar system (not on earth though) so it's outside our reach, but not outside the alien's. :)
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#44 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 23 March 2004 - 04:17 PM

Explaining the gravity waves will be much tougher, J'ordos. Also, the [flying suit] will have to be redone, because it doesn't need any extra fuel.


There's no way we could know everything about the whole universe. Isn't it safe to say that aliens could have access to some incredible material that we don't?
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

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#45 centurion

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 01:27 AM

What is the problem in saying Xenium is a stable isotope of element 115? I don't see the point in chancing it.
[...]
Element 115 is stable with certain neutron count (isotope), we call this Xenium because of its origins. Element 116 with same neutron count spontaneously annihilates completely into gamma radiation [...]

There being a stable isotope of Uup is something that can be checked in the near future, and it would be uncomfy to talk about things like 'a stable isotope of polonium'. And the properties we need from Xenium are IMHO pretty absurd to expect from an element anyway.

Decay of anything will conserve the total number of barions (here: protons+neutrons), and this is tested pretty well, so please no 'normal matter goes energy' kind of stuff.

Measuring atomic mass of at least somewhat stable element couldn't be such a huge problem even without 'disruptive' techniques; I mean it would most likely form compexes (extremely mild disturbance in electron layers, nothing to bother the nucleus), and this can give you both the number of atoms and their total weight. In fact, I don't understand how ionizing would make an element unstable.

Oh, and I'm not saying we don't write anything about what it is, but we should write things that won't get knowledgeable people shaking their heads or rollong on the floor laughing.
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#46 Tuoppi

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 07:07 AM

Absurd and uncertain materia it is, hmmm, Yes? Maybe the Force we use could?

Just kidding...

This 95% efficiency cannot be explained with anything other than matter annihilating to energy. I just ran out of even remotely plausible explanations to get matter turned into anti-matter, if you can think of any?

Maybe if aliens have managed to control superstrings??? That would take some time for humans to do...

AFAIK Uup might have a stable isotope. It is in theorized "island of stability". I do agree that only beauty in that description of mine was avoidance of chain reaction.

Nice idea Escariut.
If Xenium is anti-matter based energy source the Bose-Einstein-Condensate -theory might work. This thing is a mixture of anti-matter elements that is BEC in room temperature and as such inert (BEC occurs in different temps with different substances, quite like supercontuctors). When temp is rised, anti-matter is released and instantly annihilated. Only has to get very small amounts of xenium into reactor to prevent chain reaction. This would explain neatly its habit of blowing up when shot at.

If you don't like BEC, there has been found 6th form of matter. Fermionic condensate... Here

Edit: Link and few typos

Edited by Tuoppi, 24 March 2004 - 07:09 AM.


#47 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 09:10 AM

Hmmm. Aliens having the technology to control the super strings? Could work... We just don't have much of an idea how they work for now, do we?

The thing is, if they are using their high tech to store/use this strange element, how do we get to store/use it?
Passenger ship terror site, first turn, I open the door of my Triton, there is a Tasoth up on the next floor (his back is facing the screen so I don't know what weapon he has).

One of my guys fire at him, hit, he reaction fires with Thermal Shock Launcher. The whole crew stunned. Mission over.

#48 Robo Dojo 58

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 09:33 AM

The thing is, if they are using their high tech to store/use this strange element, how do we get to store/use it?

What if we stole their technology, researched it, and used it for our own desires? :)
Posted Image Haha! I'm now the Supreme Commander of X-COM. Time to kiss Earth goodbye.

My first order of business: Homeless people make cheap rookies, and are great at opening UFO doors. Heck, they're so cheap, I'm going to replace all personel with them!
Secondly: This organisation takes too much money to run. Weapon shipments will come from Siberia from now on. Costly maintenance is to be cut on all facilities. That includes venting.
Thirdly: We have a new colonel. His name is Facehugger, he loves aliens, and I want you all to treat him with respect.
Lastly: I'll be in my condo on an undisclosed island, if you need me. Good day.

FMIX-The General Stores

#49 Tuoppi

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 12:10 PM

Maybe aliens use Xenium somewhat as described below. Thanks J. Escariut for inspiration. :idea:

This thing called Xenium is a mixture of several anti-matter elements. This substance is curiously in state of Bose-Einstein-Condensate in room temperature and as such it is inert and stable. (BEC occurs in different temps with different substances, quite like supercontuctors). When temperature is rised, anti-matter mixture changes its form into solid, and instantly reacts with surrounding matter resulting in annihilation into huge amount of gamma radiation. Reactor only has to get very small amounts of xenium into reactor to prevent chain reaction.

This would explain neatly some features, like its habit of blowing up when shot at and stability otherwise. Over 50% efficiency cannot be really explained without involving anti-matter IMO. The storage of Xenium fuel is not an issue (Prefectly stable at normal temperatures) as well usage is fairly easy (just heat it up and it gives HUGE amounts of energy) and [power source] is relatively simple also. It needs only a device to portion Xenium, heater, a gamma ray -solar panel and a way to contain radiation. Completery understandable and reproducible technology when materials are known. Only big problem is manufacturing Xenium, which is required charasteristic.

Total fiction about origins:
Aliens could achieve this in huge particle accelerators(sizes of planet orbit around sun) using solar power/tidal energies/gravitational pull energy to create required forms of anti-matter particles by energy to matter conversion. Once the manufacturing plant is established, very efficient fuel is nearly free as solar power is cheap and available virtually forever.

Any better than previous?

#50 Otterboy

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Posted 24 March 2004 - 02:05 PM

Now that sounds the most feasible so far.
I cant see any problems with it, then again physics isnt my strong point.