Nature and Nuclear Reactions

I've blogged about toilets evolving in nature, but apparently nature also created self-sustaining nuclear reactions:
Perrin and the other French scientists concluded that the only other uranium samples with similar levels of the isotopes found at Oklo could be found in the used nuclear fuel produced by modern reactors. They found that the percentages of many isotopes at Oklo strongly resembled those in the spent fuel generated by nuclear power plants, and, therefore, reasoned that a similar natural process had occurred.
Scientists think these natural reactors could have functioned intermittently for a million years or more. Natural chain reactions stopped when the uranium isotopes became too sparse to keep the reactions going.
It is amazing to me that the random motion of matter can create a self-sustaining nuclear reaction with an average power output in the 100 kW range. This interesting anecdote of a complex system arising from random processes is evidence that long time periods and random processes can create surprising, complex systems. Maybe even life?


Google Wave Invites

Even after sending many invites, I still have a few left over. Let me know if you want one.



I'm sorry I haven't posted. I've been so stressed out lately that it has taken everything I have to focus on getting an iota of work done every day. I tried writing a long, thoughtful post about what is happening, but it just sounded lame.

I'm not dead, I know I'll eventually have things to blog about, but those things just aren't going to happen any time soon, at least not until I'm back in the states for vacation. You can check out today's PhD strip for a decent run-down on the current events in my life...only imagine someone who is convinced that working now will lead to laziness later, but instead this working is leading to more trouble with working. Or some other non-sense like that.