Oct 6, 2017

The proton may be even smaller than we think

European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) scientists. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AP

Nuclear physicists have found that the proton is four percent smaller than what was originally believed, according to a study published in Science, reports Davide Castelvecchi for Nature. In 2010 researchers studying a type of lab-created muonic hydrogen found the protons were 4% smaller than previously estimated. Some thought the lab-created hydrogen had heavier protons due to a previously undiscovered type of physics, but this study, which found similar results in regular hydrogen, suggests that the earlier measurements were incorrect and no physics needs to be rewritten.

Why it matters: This backs up a previous finding that "has made physicists doubt their most precise measurements, and even their most cherished theories," writes Castelvecchi.

But, but, but: The physicists are "not quite ready to claim that the puzzle has been solved," Nature reports. It's possible past measurements with large protons were correct, so they study authors are waiting for results from other experiments. Science News writes that different techniques are coming up with different results.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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