Channel WORM Ca-41 now on the air.

Greetings from American Mythology 101.  And, the Flower of Monday:

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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8 Responses to Channel WORM Ca-41 now on the air.

  1. bartel says:

    The issue of decay rate came up in another forum, so I started reading one of the original papers. It’s only four pages but has a lot of technical detail not in the article I posted previously.

    Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance
    http://arxiv.org/abs/0808.3283

    • wormme says:

      Any theories out there? The varied distance means fluctuations in the gravity well. It’s known that relativistic effects apply to decay, but we’re talking about radioisotopes here, correct? Thus no change in relative velocities. And even so, at such low sub-light speeds it seems impossible to notice any difference.

      It’s one of the oddest phenomenon I’ve ever heard of.

      • bartel says:

        Do I have to do all the work here? Okay – two theories mentioned in the paper:

        1)

        the Sun produces a scalar field [P] which would modulate
        the terrestrial value of the electromagnetic fine structure
        constant [A]. This could, among other effects, lead to
        a seasonal variation in alpha and beta decay rates, both
        of which are sensitive to [A].

        2)

        terrestrial radioactive nuclei are interacting in a novel way with the neutrino flux [] emitted from the interior of the Sun.

        Disclaimer: the physics is pretty much over my head at this point.

        • wormme says:

          Either way, wouldn’t you expect the inverse square law to come into play? Wouldn’t have guessed our orbit would vary enough for that to be detectable. Also wouldn’t think only two isotopes would be affected, but that may be all they’ve checked. Regardless, remarkable if true.

          • bartel says:

            Yeah, it is wild how the observed variation tracks 1/R^2 so well (I’m assuming you’ve now scanned the article).

            For some reason I have this mental flag that say there are forces that don’t follow the inverse square law (linear inverse? is it possible?), so I actually was, and still am, a little surprised at the simplicity. Now with 20/20 hindsight, okay, neutrinos … but fine-structure, I dunno, I’m not going out on a limb here.

          • wormme says:

            Well, just skimmed it. My first assumption for this sort of variation will always be inverse square, but like you I’m not married to it. It’s just the first thing to try to disprove.

            Knew they’d have to gather a lot of data to see something like that, but 15 years! Impressive.

          • bartel says:

            One more thing … the data were gathered by two independent teams that may not have even known of each other’s work at the time; then Jenkins comes along and shows not only do they both correlate with 1/R^2, but they correlate pretty well with each other for the period where they overlap.

          • wormme says:

            I’ve got to remember to pass this info around the office. Some of my fellow rad techs will be interested.

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