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Everyday science

Pouring cold water on particle X17, flying suits for humans, why that Tesla window shattered   

29 Nov 2019 Hamish Johnston
Abstract energy
Sixth force: has a new particle called X17 been discovered? (Courtesy: iStock/duncan1890)

If you have been scratching your head about curious reports of the discovery of a fifth (or possibly sixth) force and a mysterious particle called X17, check out Matt Strassler’s recent blog “Has a new force of nature been discovered?”.   

“I thought I’d better throw some cold water on that fire; it’s fine for it to smoulder, but we shouldn’t let it overheat,” writes Strassler. 

When will we be able to slip on a flying suit and soar in the sky like Tony Stark in Iron Man? 

Physics student Daria Stekolnikova has written a book called The Flying Humans to answer that question. She is trying to raise a little over £3000 to get the book published and is looking for backers.  

It looks like a donation will get you a signed copy of the book and you can find out more here 

I’m sure that by now just about everyone has seen that bizarre video showing Elon Musk unveiling the Tesla pickup truck. The infantile design of the vehicle – a four-year-old could draw a better truck – combined with the easily-shattered “Tesla Armor Glass” made me think that the event was some kind of joke. But apparently it was for real.  

Rhett Allain has looked at the physics of why the truck’s window broke so easily. You can read more in Wired.    

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