Hey look, this noted PhD is only a week behind us! Oh, also he’s wrong.

Well looky here.  A Dr. Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress apparently wants that sweet, sweet media luvin’, and he’s casting about for ways to get it.

So.  Grab the “ZOMG neutrons!” report (for which there is no followup), mix liberally with “Cl-38…really??” (also no followup). Which means?

Dalnoki-Veress, a physicist, was faced with an alarming possibility: had portions of one of Fukushima’s reactors gone critical?

If we’re starting a betting pool, give me Reactor #4!

About the neutrons. First:

Why, we’ve just been lost here without a high-energy physicist interpreting data for us.  Oh, wait.  Actually, I think we have one. 

Bursts of neutrons in large quantities can only come from fission so Dalnoki-Veress, a physicist, was faced with an alarming possibility…

…he’d forgotten to check the units.  Reported levels were 0.01 to 0.02 micro-Sieverts (1-2 micro-rem). For field instruments that could be as little as as 2 counts per hour.

Oh, and of course the statement “Bursts of neutrons in large quantities can only come from fission” is false.  Spallation.  Look it up, doc.  

Of course we considered his theory here before, apparently, he had it. (My profession doesn’t permit me to reject it out-of-hand.)  But it seemed nigh-impossible even before Leopold thermalized the idea with the cold, cold water of facts:

neutrons have a mean free path of about 1 inch in sea level atmosphere

Meaning?  There’s about 60,000 inches between the reactor (still inside containment!) and that supposed neutron field.  To march an almost straight path between the two is like flipping “heads” on a coin…60,000 straight times.  (1 x 10ˆ18,000) It’s not quite that bad…but every “tails” means another “heads” just to get back to the previous position.

There must be neutron energies where they slip through air pretty easily, otherwise I don’t see how “neutron bombs” were ever thought feasible.  But…take note, Doctor…no neutrons have been reported closer to the site than that.  

We can’t say for sure TEPCO was monitoring for neutrons there–they’ve made some pretty big mistakes so far–but they’d be hard to miss.  All those emergency responders sprawled lifelessly on the ground would have been a clue.  From that absolute godawfully unimaginable flux of ground-zero neutrons, doncha know.  Because despite “reporting” like this:

…observed a neutron beam…(snip snip)…when a beam of neutrons…

Free neutrons don’t beam, homie.  (emphasis added, obviously)  Apart from neutrinos and anti-neutrinos, nothing’s harder to beam than neutrons.  They like to spread, not bunch.  (Okay, Leopold, maybe muons and the like are worse.)

A neutron walks into a bar and says, “how much for a drink?”.  Bartender says, “for you…no charge.”  The neutron beamed…

Well, this has gone on enough, so as for the (unfollowed-up) Chlorine-38?  Our commenters here had considered and dealt with it before I even knew it was going on.  Does everybody here have multiple PhD’s except me?  Jerks. 

(thanks to jrman for the link.  Hadn’t had a really satisfying rant in awhile.)

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About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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One Response to Hey look, this noted PhD is only a week behind us! Oh, also he’s wrong.

  1. Pingback: “Free neutrons don’t beam, homie” « Quotulatiousness

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