Saturday, October 4, 2008

The mystery of the varying nuclear decay

As mentioned by the Pioneers, the "constant" of nuclear decay rates may not be so constant after all, as the story is picked up by

It is well-known that a radioactive substance follows a fixed exponential decay, no matter what you do to it. The fact has been set in stone since 1930 when the “father” of nuclear physics Ernest Rutherford, together with James Chadwick and Charles Ellis, concluded in their definitive Radiations from Radioactive Substances that “the rate of transformation…is a constant under all conditions.”

But this is no longer the view of a pair of physicists in the US. Ephraim Fischbach and Jere Jenkins of Purdue University in Indiana are claiming that, far from being fixed, certain decay “constants” are influenced by the Sun. It is a claim that is drawing mixed reactions from others in the physics community, not least because it implies that decades of established science is flawed.

(Whether or not the preprint will stand peer-review, the implications are as quietly staggering as the originally under-reported story of cosmological acceleration. - ED)
Read more HERE.

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