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Perhaps this is well known to all of you, but I was fascinated most by the idea in Smith's article that radioactive decay may not be as constant as we thought. I found the following references supporting that idea, in case anyone wants to check it out:
http://www.projectworldawareness.com/20 ... ng-matter/
http://news.discovery.com/space/is-the- ... ticle.html
http://news.softpedia.com/news/The-Sun- ... 3704.shtml
QUOTE (from softpedia):
>>>Researchers at the Purdue University now contest the idea that the constant exist, basing their claim on a series of experiments which show the existence of disagreements in the measured decay rates of various radioactive isotopes.
>>>The new data, proposed by Purdue physics professor Ephraim Fischbach, was tested and confirmed by teams at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Federal Physical and Technical Institute, in Germany,
>>>These two labs also found that small seasonal variations existed in the decay rates of the chemical elements silicon-32 and radium-226.
>>>Researchers here found that decay rates during the summer season were slightly faster than those present during winter.
>>>Even if the differences are minute, the basic rule of a constant, which is being, well, constant, are broken. The finding could have significant implications.
As_I_Please writes“Scientists at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and Purdue University have ruled out neutrino flux as a cause of previously observed fluctuations in nuclear decay rates. From the article: ‘Researchers … tested this by comparing radioactive gold-198 in two shapes, spheres and thin foils, with the same mass and activity. Gold-198 releases neutrinos as it decays. The team reasoned that if neutrinos are affecting the decay rate, the atoms in the spheres should decay more slowly than the atoms in the foil because the neutrinos emitted by the atoms in the spheres would have a greater chance of interacting with their neighboring atoms. The maximum neutrino flux in the sample in their experiments was several times greater than the flux of neutrinos from the sun. The researchers followed the gamma-ray emission rate of each source for several weeks and found no difference between the decay rate of the spheres and the corresponding foils.’ The paper can be found here on arXiv. Slashdot has previously covered the original announcement and followed up with the skepticism of other scientists.”
http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/09 ... -Constancy
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Anyway, interesting stuff. I feel like we should have our own wiki or something.
- nick c
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http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/augu ... 82310.html
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