What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Element 115 Confirmed...Blink And You'll Miss It

August 28, 2013, 1:00 PM

What's the Latest Development?

By bombarding a thin film of americium with a beam of calcium, scientists in Germany have confirmed the existence of the superheavy element ununpentium -- a temporary name meaning "one-one-five" for the 115 protons each atom contains. Like most man-made elements, this one's atoms only lasted for a few milliseconds before they began to decay, which meant the scientists used the energy signatures connected to the radiation they gave off in order to certify that the right number of protons were there. A paper describing the experiments will appear in The Physical Review Letters.

What's the Big Idea?

Of the 118 elements currently in the periodic table, 20 of them, including ununpentium, were synthesized in a lab, and they tend to be relatively unstable. However, scientists keep creating heavier elements in the hope of finding some that will occupy an "island of stability" and have some potential practical value. The German experiment confirms another experiment done in Russia in 2004, and brings ununpentium one step closer to receiving an official name from the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Last year, its neighbors in the periodic table received their official names: "Ununquadium" (element 114) became flerovium, and "ununhexium" (element 116) became livermorium.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at NBC News


Element 115 Confirmed...Bli...

Newsletter: Share: