The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements

Aug 23, 2010 BY DAN STOBER

(PhysOrg.com) -- When researchers found an unusual linkage between solar flares and the inner life of radioactive elements on Earth, it touched off a scientific detective investigation that could end up protecting the lives of space-walking astronauts and maybe rewriting some of the assumptions of physics.

It's a mystery that presented itself unexpectedly: The radioactive decay of some elements sitting quietly in laboratories on Earth seemed to be influenced by activities inside the , 93 million miles away.

Is this possible?

Researchers from Stanford and Purdue University believe it is. But their explanation of how it happens opens the door to yet another mystery.

There is even an outside chance that this unexpected effect is brought about by a previously unknown particle emitted by the sun. "That would be truly remarkable," said Peter Sturrock, Stanford professor emeritus of applied physics and an expert on the inner workings of the sun.

The story begins, in a sense, in classrooms around the world, where students are taught that the rate of decay of a specific radioactive material is a constant. This concept is relied upon, for example, when anthropologists use carbon-14 to date ancient artifacts and when doctors determine the proper dose of radioactivity to treat a cancer patient.

Random numbers

But that assumption was challenged in an unexpected way by a group of researchers from Purdue University who at the time were more interested in random numbers than nuclear decay. (Scientists use long strings of random numbers for a variety of calculations, but they are difficult to produce, since the process used to produce the numbers has an influence on the outcome.)

Ephraim Fischbach, a physics professor at Purdue, was looking into the rate of radioactive decay of several isotopes as a possible source of random numbers generated without any human input. (A lump of radioactive cesium-137, for example, may decay at a steady rate overall, but individual atoms within the lump will decay in an unpredictable, random pattern. Thus the timing of the random ticks of a Geiger counter placed near the cesium might be used to generate random numbers.)

As the researchers pored through published data on specific isotopes, they found disagreement in the measured decay rates - odd for supposed physical constants.

Checking data collected at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island and the Federal Physical and Technical Institute in Germany, they came across something even more surprising: long-term observation of the decay rate of silicon-32 and radium-226 seemed to show a small seasonal variation. The decay rate was ever so slightly faster in winter than in summer.

Was this fluctuation real, or was it merely a glitch in the equipment used to measure the decay, induced by the change of seasons, with the accompanying changes in temperature and humidity?

"Everyone thought it must be due to experimental mistakes, because we're all brought up to believe that decay rates are constant," Sturrock said.

The sun speaks

On Dec 13, 2006, the sun itself provided a crucial clue, when a solar flare sent a stream of particles and radiation toward Earth. Purdue nuclear engineer Jere Jenkins, while measuring the decay rate of manganese-54, a short-lived isotope used in medical diagnostics, noticed that the rate dropped slightly during the flare, a decrease that started about a day and a half before the flare.

If this apparent relationship between flares and decay rates proves true, it could lead to a method of predicting prior to their occurrence, which could help prevent damage to satellites and electric grids, as well as save the lives of astronauts in space.

The decay-rate aberrations that Jenkins noticed occurred during the middle of the night in Indiana - meaning that something produced by the sun had traveled all the way through the Earth to reach Jenkins' detectors. What could the flare send forth that could have such an effect?

Jenkins and Fischbach guessed that the culprits in this bit of decay-rate mischief were probably solar neutrinos, the almost weightless particles famous for flying at the speed of light through the physical world - humans, rocks, oceans or planets - with virtually no interaction with anything.

Then, in a series of papers published in Astroparticle Physics, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research and Space Science Reviews, Jenkins, Fischbach and their colleagues showed that the observed variations in decay rates were highly unlikely to have come from environmental influences on the detection systems.

Reason for suspicion

Their findings strengthened the argument that the strange swings in decay rates were caused by neutrinos from the sun. The swings seemed to be in synch with the Earth's elliptical orbit, with the decay rates oscillating as the Earth came closer to the sun (where it would be exposed to more neutrinos) and then moving away.

So there was good reason to suspect the sun, but could it be proved?

Enter Peter Sturrock, Stanford professor emeritus of applied physics and an expert on the inner workings of the sun. While on a visit to the National Solar Observatory in Arizona, Sturrock was handed copies of the scientific journal articles written by the Purdue researchers.

Sturrock knew from long experience that the intensity of the barrage of neutrinos the sun continuously sends racing toward Earth varies on a regular basis as the sun itself revolves and shows a different face, like a slower version of the revolving light on a police car. His advice to Purdue: Look for evidence that the changes in on Earth vary with the rotation of the sun. "That's what I suggested. And that's what we have done."

A surprise

Going back to take another look at the decay data from the Brookhaven lab, the researchers found a recurring pattern of 33 days. It was a bit of a surprise, given that most solar observations show a pattern of about 28 days - the rotation rate of the surface of the sun.

The explanation? The core of the sun - where nuclear reactions produce neutrinos - apparently spins more slowly than the surface we see. "It may seem counter-intuitive, but it looks as if the core rotates more slowly than the rest of the sun," Sturrock said.

All of the evidence points toward a conclusion that the sun is "communicating" with radioactive isotopes on Earth, said Fischbach.

But there's one rather large question left unanswered. No one knows how neutrinos could interact with radioactive materials to change their rate of decay.

"It doesn't make sense according to conventional ideas," Fischbach said. Jenkins whimsically added, "What we're suggesting is that something that doesn't really interact with anything is changing something that can't be changed."

"It's an effect that no one yet understands," agreed Sturrock. "Theorists are starting to say, 'What's going on?' But that's what the evidence points to. It's a challenge for the physicists and a challenge for the solar people too."

If the mystery particle is not a neutrino, "It would have to be something we don't know about, an unknown particle that is also emitted by the sun and has this effect, and that would be even more remarkable," Sturrock said.

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User comments : 175

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Temple
3.6 / 5 (17) Aug 23, 2010
I read articles like this and I'm ever-more excited that we are going to someday soon realize that there is a potential layer of communication around us akin to the radio waves beaming over the heads of island villages communicating via drums.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 23, 2010
If this apparent relationship between flares and decay rates proves true, it could lead to a method of predicting solar flares prior to their occurrence, which could help prevent damage to satellites and electric grids, as well as save the lives of astronauts in space.
Brilliant observation. I wish they were more clear on the perceived change in decay rate. I wouldn't want to see this conversation devolve into something else.

One aside, this effectively disproves the hypothesis from the movie "2012", and shows that observationally, the opposite occurs.

gunslingor1
1.9 / 5 (9) Aug 23, 2010
2012, lol... rediculous movie.

This article isn't surprising to me at all. I would expect radio active decay rates to vary based on temperature and environment. U238, intuitively, should decay faster at 1000 deg K then at 1 deg K, just intuitively.

Still very interesting, I'm just not as perplexed as the article would like me to be.
TehDog
4.8 / 5 (6) Aug 23, 2010
I started thinking about what could inhibit decay, then suddenly wondered, which rate of decay is "correct". Maybe the rates we've assumed were normal are in fact elevated by some extra-solar activity, and solar neutrinos (or other particle) are damping this effect. Pure speculation on my part I freely admit.
Question
1.8 / 5 (5) Aug 23, 2010
There is an alternative theory that can explain this. Neutrinos are really a form of extremely high frequency neutral radiation. This neutral radiation is the cause of nearly all radioactive decay. The background of neutral neutrino radiation is the source of the weak force.
ngvrnd
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 23, 2010
I started thinking about what could inhibit decay


quantum zeno effect.
Xaero
1.6 / 5 (13) Aug 23, 2010
One aside, this effectively disproves the hypothesis from the movie "2012", and shows that observationally, the opposite occurs.
LOL, how did you come into it? It's exactly, what the authors of this movie predicted: the increased neutrino flux accelerates the decay of elements in the Earth mantle, thus increasing volcanic and tectonic activity...

Because neutrinos may form a substantial portion of dark matter and interstellar gas, it can explain the increasing number of tsunamis and tectonic activity, which we are experiencing in recent time.

http://www.scient...llar_gas

http://www.market...9983.htm
Xaero
1.7 / 5 (12) Aug 23, 2010
I wish they were more clear on the perceived change in decay rate.
So - you still don't know, what the neutrinos are actually doing with decay rate - but you're sure already, this effect is exactly opposite to 2002 movie. This is what the trollism is called.
Xaero
1.7 / 5 (12) Aug 23, 2010
Solar minimum caused the cooling of atmosphere, but the temperature of ocean is still raising. It looks like something is heating it from bottom up. The source could be the geothermal heat from faster decay of radioactive elements inside of Earth core.

http://physicswor...ws/42356

Note that the marine watter contains rather large amount of potassium, too. The total activity of ocean water exceeds 3.8 x 10E+11 Ci (14000 EBq). What will happen, if some process would accelerate its decay by let say one percent?

http://www.physic...ural.htm

The becquerel (Bq) unit equates to one decay per second. For comparison, natural potassium (40K) in a typical human body produces 4,000 disintegrations per second (i.e. 4 kBq of activity). The nuclear explosion in Hiroshima (14 kt or 59 TJ) is estimated to have produced 8x10 E24 Bq. The 100 million curies (4 exabecquerels) of radioactive material were released initially in Chernobyl (~14 exabecquerels in total).
Xaero
1.7 / 5 (12) Aug 23, 2010
Regarding the periodicity observed, the surface of the Sun rotates at different rates depending on location, with the equator spinning faster (about 25 days) than the poles - roughly 36 days, which correspond rather well the above explanation of decay periodicity.

The core's rotation speed is best indicated by the subtle ripples driven by gravity, i.e. so/called the the g-mode waves, which get distorted as they pass through the Sun. They're believed to occur when gas churning below the surface plunges even deeper and collides with denser material, sending ripples propagating through the interior and up to the surface, the equivalent of dropping a stone in a pond, but in space.
Question
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 23, 2010
The decay rate could be either higher or lower, it would depend entirely on any change in the rate of the neutrino radiation being produced. In any case the change would be in the single digit parts per million, very small.
daywalk3r
3.4 / 5 (20) Aug 23, 2010
Now, I have to say that this is indeed a brilliant find, which might very well be responsible for a multitude of breakthroughs in many fields of physics in the near future. If confirmed, then this is really BIG - with no exaggeration.

My sincere congratulations to the involved, who noticed the variations, made the initial assumptions (that the effect might be sun-related), and then took the effort to sift through data to find some evidence. Science as it should be! :)

Even if nothing more comes out of this in the near future, be it for whatever reason (like not being able to come up with a sufficiently satisfying theoty, for example) - if confirmed, they have just found a way to measure the rotation period of the Sun's core! I mean, even that alone is a great achievement - the more so for being just "accidental" (as many of the greatest finds in physics actually were..)

With best regards :)
Pyle
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2010
Any ideas on the impact this new solar "power/dampener" has on other processes?
Atom smashing and the recent obserations of CP violation? (A link between decay rates and proclivity towards matter byproducts of b-meson decay?)

Besides decay, where else can we look for periodicity to witness the effects of this new solar force/interaction?
Xaero
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 23, 2010
The decay rate could be either higher or lower, it would depend entirely on any change in the rate of the neutrino radiation being produced.
If I understand this stuff correctly, the antineutrinos (sorta bubbles of vacuum) should slow down the radioactive beta decay - while normal neutrinos (produced with Sun core) should accelerate it. At the case of inverse beta decay this influence should be reversed.
Hesperos
4.8 / 5 (5) Aug 23, 2010
Not losing sight of the fact that neutrinos, like everything else, are also waves, and that QM rules at sub-atomic distances, I postulate that a direct hit may not be required. Proximity (within the limits defined by probability) to an unstable nucleus, may well be good enough.
Xaero
1 / 5 (11) Aug 23, 2010
Try to imagine the decay of atom nuclei in dense aether way like the coalesce of pile of mercury droplets. The merging of such droplets requires temporal formation of very thin neck with strong negative curvature, which is relatively rare event. But the fly-by of tiny droplet can initialize the neck formation and merging of droplets - we can say, it serves as a catalyst for it. At the case of bubbles merging the situation is similar, just reversed.
Question
4 / 5 (8) Aug 23, 2010
The decay rate could be either higher or lower, it would depend entirely on any change in the rate of the neutrino radiation being produced.
If I understand this stuff correctly, the antineutrinos (sorta bubbles of vacuum) should slow down the radioactive beta decay - while normal neutrinos (produced with Sun core) should accelerate it. At the case of inverse beta decay this influence should be reversed.

I am not sure I understand what you are referring to but neutrinos are neutral radiation, they are their own antiparticle. The rate of decay would either speed up of slow down depending directly on the intensity of the background of neutral neutrino radiation.

daywalk3r
2.9 / 5 (15) Aug 23, 2010
Basing on the observations as described in the article, the decay rates were found to be "slowing down" the closer the elements were to the Sun (caused by eliptical Earth orbit) and/or the higher the solar activity was.

At the moment I can think of 3 possible candidates for the observed variations in decay times:

A.) Solar neutrino flux. The closer we are or the higher the activity, the higher the flux. This is a very promising candidate indeed. Just the mechanism needs to be figured out. Maybe some of the neutrinos DO indeed react - particulary with the atomic nuclei? Adding/substracting energy, essentially altering the decay times? We will see..

B.) Magnetic flux variation. Earth indeed resides "inside" the Sun's magnetic field, which is directly related to the Sun's core. The strength of this field varies with distance AND position of Earth in relation to the core,aswell as with it's rotation, as the magnetic field is not uniform and also strongly depends on the surface activity.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (11) Aug 23, 2010
LOL, how did you come into it? It's exactly, what the authors of this movie predicted: the increased neutrino flux accelerates the decay of elements in the Earth mantle, thus increasing volcanic and tectonic activity...
Try reading the article again, jackass.
Xaero
1.9 / 5 (11) Aug 23, 2010
..I postulate that a direct hit may not be required...
This is a trivial insight. Actually a much more tricky resonances can occur there.

http://www.nature...64a.html

Solar neutrino flux.
It may be possible, the Sun is behaving like pulsar, just for neutrinos. It would support the hypothesis, the core of Sun is formed by dense fragment of neutron star, which Oliver K. Manuel is promoting obstinately.

We'll see..
Xaero
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 23, 2010
Try reading the article again

No 2002 movie was mentioned there. So, how did you come into claim, this finding effectively disproves the hypothesis from the movie "2012"?

BTW Try to read this first...

http://www.unc.ed...ies.html
MaxwellsDemon
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 23, 2010
I'd love to see a comparative analysis of the magnitude of this effect on different types of decay among a wide range of isotopes, so we can see if there's a specific correlation with the electroweak force and/or nuclear structure.

If this *isn't* a neutrino effect, then maybe we're seeing evidence for a particle that possesses no mass or energy, but only information of some form - because if it possessed energy we should've detected it via missing energy in collider data already.
Xaero
1.9 / 5 (9) Aug 23, 2010
that possesses no mass or energy, but only information of some form
Information is an arbitrary abstract construct. You cannot exchange an information without some minimal energy flux (an energy of graviton and/or CMB photon).

http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.4732
jsa09
5 / 5 (7) Aug 23, 2010
I am looking forward to further developments as a direct result of the observations made. Odd that no measurements have been made in the past that noticed this variation, but heartening when someone finally decides that a discrepancy should be investigated.
MaxwellsDemon
5 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2010
At the moment I can think of 3 possible candidates

Hey: you only mentioned 2 of those 3 candidates - what's your third idea?
Maybe some of the neutrinos DO indeed react - particulary with the atomic nuclei? Adding/substracting energy, essentially altering the decay times?

Well, we already know neutrinos interact very weakly with nucleii, or else our detectors would'n't work! So this is a top contender imo. Absolutely *fascinating* that an interaction/collison would *increase* stability though...
Magnetic flux variation.

I seem to recall that intense magnetic fields have been tested on radioactivity with a null result. If they hadn't, we'd be able to unify the electroweak with the electromagnetic force right?
david_42
4.5 / 5 (10) Aug 23, 2010
Since the neutrino was hypothesized to balance beta decay, it is entirely reasonable to think that the reaction is reversible to some extent. Higher neutrino fluxes would drive the reverse reaction giving an apparent decrease in the primary path.
MaxwellsDemon
3.3 / 5 (7) Aug 23, 2010
You cannot exchange an information without some minimal energy flux (an energy of graviton and/or CMB photon)

That's true with photons and gravitons sure, but there are interactions (such as quantum teleportation) where information (albeit non-useful information) is conveyed without exchanging energy.

And if we're seeing new physics and a new particle here, then all bets are off until we model it accurately. I'm just saying that if it's a new particle from the Sun, it probably couldn't carry energy or we would've noticed it by now in accelerator collisions.
knikiy
5 / 5 (10) Aug 23, 2010
Favorite quote: "What we're suggesting is that something that doesn't really interact with anything is changing something that can't be changed."
daywalk3r
2.8 / 5 (14) Aug 23, 2010
-continued-

..The surface activity dependance would also represent the corelation with the flares - causing directional fluctuations in the field. Albeit, for now, I can hardly come up with any possible explanation as to the underlying mechanism responsible for the observed decay variations in regard to Earths position in the Solar magnetic field, it might be a candidate, as it seamingly could be in unison with the observed data.

C.) Position in the gravity well. Or "how deep" the observed element (located on Earth) is at the time of observation. As our planet orbits on an eliptical orbit, it is closer to the Sun at certain times of the year - or with other words "deeper" within Sun's gravity well. Albeit the decay times are most certainly related to this aswell, it is a very unlikely explanation, as this effect is purely observer dependat - eg. the observer would have to be "outside" of the particular gravity well, to measure a change caused by this effect. Relativity at its best :)
daywalk3r
3.2 / 5 (21) Aug 23, 2010
Well, we already know neutrinos interact very weakly with nucleii, or else our detectors would'n't work! So this is a top contender imo. Absolutely *fascinating* that an interaction/collison would *increase* stability though...
Not very *fascinating* to me, as we can speak wether about adding or substracting energy from the system.

I'll try to explain.. Take for example an orbiting planet. The planet is orbiting the host star at a speed a little bit less than the escape velocity - eg. its orbit is slowly decreasing with time, because the planet doesn't have enough kinetic energy (relative to the star).

Now imagine an object of non-negligible mass/kinetic energy snapping into the planet - altering the relative momentum of the planet towards the star in a way, that makes the planet orbit a bit faster, but still not above escape velocity.

This way it will take longer till the planet smashes into its host star - increasing stability of the whole system, so to speak.. :)
malapropism
4.9 / 5 (7) Aug 23, 2010
I wonder if it might be possible to correlate the radioactive decay data with the results from the neutrino detector experiments currently underway to give an indication of whether these particles are the culprit, or not?

As a corollary to that, if they are so indicated, maybe radioactive elements could provide a better way to detect neutrinos than the current generation of detectors.
Caliban
4.8 / 5 (8) Aug 23, 2010
So, this changes, to some extent, every radioisotope age measurement ever made, unless the unthinkable has happened, and standard decay rates just happen to exactly fit the mean rate of decay for each isotope employed, and by the mean rate, I mean since the very formation of these elements.

Is everything Older than we suppose? Younger? Or did we, inadvertently, get it just right?

One assumes that this process would have varied over time since Solar output is expected to have increased since the first ignition of the Sun.

Pretty damned exciting news.
daywalk3r
3.3 / 5 (19) Aug 23, 2010
I seem to recall that intense magnetic fields have been tested on radioactivity with a null result. If they hadn't, we'd be able to unify the electroweak with the electromagnetic force right?
Of course, I'm well aware of that, and that is also the reason, why at the moment I can't come up with a possible explanation, as I wrote in the second part of my post. Blame the soul of wit (char limit) for that one, as I got dragged away from the computer while writing the second part :-D

I was thinking more in the lines of a "side effect" when it comes to the magnetic flux idea, with no direct field intensity relation. One could imagine that the mechanism could be quite complex and present a tough puzzle to solve. We will see.

If this *isn't* a neutrino effect, then maybe we're seeing evidence for a particle that possesses no mass or energy, but only information of some form
That is highly unlikely, at least in my opinion.
daywalk3r
3.5 / 5 (19) Aug 23, 2010
So, this changes, to some extent, every radioisotope age measurement ever made, unless the unthinkable has happened, and standard decay rates just happen to exactly fit the mean rate of decay for each isotope employed, and by the mean rate, I mean since the very formation of these elements.
As these measurements are done mostly on matter that came from Earth, it is very likely that the variations between the measured samples are uniform - to a certain extent. But ofcourse it all depends on the exact mechanism governing and causing these variations.

Till we know more, it is only pure speculation as to wether the radioisotope age measurements should be "localized" (to specific places, like Earth) and to what extent (scope). Hard to tell now.
TehDog
5 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2010
I started thinking about what could inhibit decay


quantum zeno effect.


That seems to apply only to active/intrusive measurements of quantum systems.
As far as I know, isotopic decay rates are measured using purely passive (ie, non-observational) detection of emmited particles.
skajam66
5 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2010
When they find out how this is happening, I wonder if radioactive decay of spent reactor fuel could be sped up somehow.
Roj
3 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2010
If the mystery particle is not a neutrino, "It would have to be something we don't know about..
We do know about entanglement.
Auxon
1.2 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
I realize that neutrinos would pass through the Earth, but if there is interaction between neutrinos (or the mystery particle(s)) and matter then would there be detectable differences between rocks found on the dark-side vs. the light-side of the moon?
MaxwellsDemon
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2010
I realize that neutrinos would pass through the Earth, but if there is interaction between neutrinos (or the mystery particle(s)) and matter then would there be detectable differences between rocks found on the dark-side vs. the light-side of the moon?

The same side of the Moon always faces the Earth, not the Sun. The Moon goes through equal day and night cycles too, just much more slowly than the Earth.

And this effect doesn't depend on day and night anyway, as far as we've seen so far - it depends on solar proximity, solar flares, and the neutrino 'hot spot' of the rotating solar core.
Auxon
1.3 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2010
I realize that neutrinos would pass through the Earth, but if there is interaction between neutrinos (or the mystery particle(s)) and matter then would there be detectable differences between rocks found on the dark-side vs. the light-side of the moon?

The same side of the Moon always faces the Earth, not the Sun. The Moon goes through equal day and night cycles too, just much more slowly than the Earth.


Yes, of course I know one side of the moon always faces the Earth and it goes through day/night cycles, but because of the Earth and the fact that only one side faces the Earth at all times, the light side would actually have less neutrino interaction (if any such interaction occurs) than the dark side, because when the Earth is between the sun and moon, the Earth would block more neutrinos over time, from hitting the light side. Or not?
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (7) Aug 24, 2010
hen the Earth is between the sun and moon,


This only occurs during a Lunar eclipse. A short time two or three times a year.

So not.

THERE IS NO DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. Except for the fictional base in the move Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And that was a pretty stupid name for the base.

Ethelred
samarth
not rated yet Aug 24, 2010
Its interesting,,, Are there any Computational ot theoretical Calculations done to find the relation between the two
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2010
Try reading the article again

No 2002 movie was mentioned there. So, how did you come into claim, this finding effectively disproves the hypothesis from the movie "2012"?

BTW Try to read this first...

http://www.unc.ed...ies.html

If you didn't see the movie, why are you even trying to argue it? Your link is dead, read the article again.
hodzaa
1 / 5 (9) Aug 24, 2010
How did you come into claim, this finding effectively disproves the hypothesis from the movie "2012"? How did you come into claim, I didn't see the movie "2012"? Why are you using presupposition question fallacy instead of logical arguments? Link is live for me, check your FW.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
How did you come into claim, this finding effectively disproves the hypothesis from the movie "2012"? How did you come into claim, I didn't see the movie "2012"? Why are you using presupposition question fallacy instead of logical arguments? Link is live for me, check your FW.

I'm not getting into another pissing match with you, especially over a shoddy Cusack movie, due to your limited understanding of the English language.
El_Nose
2.5 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
I got to this story late -here goes

Okay we have problems here - relativity is so far consistant. Now the issue hear is that they are suggesting that by measuring radioactive decay on earth you will know 8 minutes in advance that a huge solar flare is coming at earth. This violates the rules that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light.

issue two Everything in this solar system is probably a by product of our sun on some level except trapped comets. SO are we suggesting that most of the radioactive material on Earth is already coupled with material in the sun. Like quantum level coupling spins and all that.

three - back to the article - it states that possibly nuetrinos are doing this or some other particle that is being ejected from the sun --- but since nothing travels faster than light we would already know about the solar flare by the time the nuetrinos got here.

Aren't Nuetrinos notorious for not reacting with anything - like huge vats of water.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2010
Okay we have problems here - relativity is so far consistant. Now the issue hear is that they are suggesting that by measuring radioactive decay on earth you will know 8 minutes in advance that a huge solar flare is coming at earth. This violates the rules that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light.
Neutrino emissions by current observation, appear to increase and decrease prior to the CME as opposed to at the instant of the CME from what I've read.
Everything in this solar system is probably a by product of our sun on some level except trapped comets. SO are we suggesting that most of the radioactive material on Earth is already coupled with material in the sun. Like quantum level coupling spins and all that.
No it isn't, and I don't think that's the indications received. It doesn't appear to be entanglement.
Aren't Nuetrinos notorious for not reacting with anything - like huge vats of water.
And that's why this discovery is amazing.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2010
"..but since nothing travels faster than light we would already know about the solar flare by the time the neutrinos got here."

Perhaps the solar turbulence which causes flares & CMEs takes a day or two longer to reach 'visible' surface than the pulse of neutrinos ? IIRC, the current 'long-low' of sunspot-cycle is being blamed on wayward deep currents...
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2010
El Nose: I do not see where this would violate the speed of light. The changes in decay rate are very minor for one thing and another neutrino radiation travels at essentially the same speed as light. So we would not be aware of the flare in advance because the slight change in the decay rate would start happening at the same time we see the flare.
fmfbrestel
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
Anyone else relieved that the decay effect was a slow down? I immediately thought about all the young earthers that would pounce on this should it have been an increase in decay speed. But anyway, about the real science....

If we can manage to isolate what exactly is causing this effect and magnify it in an experimental setting, it may enable us to get better readings on some of the artificial isotopes and elements with very short lifespans.
Xaero
1 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
Since the neutrino was hypothesized to balance beta decay, it is entirely reasonable to think that the reaction is reversible to some extent. Higher neutrino fluxes would drive the reverse reaction giving an apparent decrease in the primary path.
I don't know, why such idea was upvoted by Zenmaster, yyz, MaxwellsDemon, frajo, Caliban, Ethelred and DamienS with five points, if we know already, the excess of neutrinos accelerates the beta decay - not the reverse reaction.

http://physicswor...ws/36108
dkarloski
5 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
If the decay rate is dependent on the distance to the sun, then decay rates of radioisotope thermoelectric generators on spacecraft would be affected. One wonders how the decay rates are affected in the cores of outer planets and out by the Oort cloud. What would be the decay rate in the absence of the sun?
jimbo92107
not rated yet Aug 24, 2010
If we can manage to isolate what exactly is causing this effect and magnify it in an experimental setting, it may enable us to get better readings on some of the artificial isotopes and elements with very short lifespans.


Exactly! All we need to do is re-create in a lab the temperatures and pressures at the core of the sun, then focus them into a beam directed at a microscopic target. What could be easier?
Caliban
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2010
In case any of you have not yet seen this article, it is probably relevant -but more from the perspective of being a driving force for flares/sunspots, CMEs, and increased Xparticle/neutrino emissions:

http://www.physor...943.html
daywalk3r
3.5 / 5 (20) Aug 24, 2010
After having a second thought about this, a few interesting things came to my mind:

First of, our current quantization of time is by definition directly related to isotope decay rates. So, if the effect described by this article really is causing decay rates to "slow down" (or speed up), the question would be: Did "time", as we know it, just got slowed/sped up? :-D

After comming up with this, I realised, that the explanation of what's really happening there, might not be as simple. After all, a decrease of speed of the decay process might not be the only viable explanation to the observed decrease in the average rate of isotope decay.

It is possible that the increased neutrino flux is somehow just temporarily "prohibiting" the decay process to happen - like for example from a side effect caused by oversaturation of the nucleus, or other possibilities like the ones I meantioned in previous posts, where energy transfer between the neutrinos and the nucleus was considered.

Howgh :)
Skeptic_Heretic
3.8 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
So, if the effect described by this article really is causing decay rates to "slow down" (or speed up), the question would be: Did "time", as we know it, just got slowed/sped up? :-D
No, the decay simply gives us a standard to use in order to measure time. Time itself shouldn't be directly affected, but I think you knew this already and created a cleverly baited Alizee trap. Regardless of the fact I answered it, I'm sure he'll still take the bait. The prohibition statement is the hypothesis I thought of as well.
Question
3.2 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
Quotes from article: - - - "noticed that the rate dropped slightly during the flare, a decrease that started about a day and a half before the flare."

"The decay rate was ever so slightly faster in winter than in summer."

Notice the rate dropped slightly during the flare and the decrease started about day and a half before the flare. This would indicate something is going in the interior of the sun before the flare surfaces. From this we could predict a solar flare was coming soon.
Also notice the decay rate was ever so slightly faster in the winter, when the earth is at its closest to the sun. This indicates that as the solar neutrino radiation increases, probably by the inverse square rule, as the earth get closer to the sun. It does not indicate that an increase in neutino radiation inhibites radioactive decay, just the opposite.

daywalk3r
3.3 / 5 (16) Aug 24, 2010
No, the decay simply gives us a standard to use in order to measure time. Time itself shouldn't be directly affected, but I think you knew this already and created a cleverly baited Alizee trap. Regardless of the fact I answered it, I'm sure he'll still take the bait. The prohibition statement is the hypothesis I thought of as well.
Nothing wrong with that part of my post, as I deliberately stated at the beginnig, that it was about "our take" on quantization of time - eg. the measurement of it. Further, I put "time" in quotes, and added "as we know (measure) it", right after it.

Then of course there is that big grin smiley at the end of the question.. ;-)

And yes, the prohibition take seems to be the best bet at the moment, at least until more investigation is done and more data is collected.. Then we will be smarter, I hope :)
Xaero
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
..our current quantization of time is by definition directly related to isotope decay rates..
How did you come into it? Our clock are based on lasers.
..Did "time", as we know it, just got slowed/sped up?..
in certain sense yes - it was pointed out already, inside of cloud of sparse particle gas the ratio of physical constants may be shifted. It's not "Alizee trap", this stuff was proposed by many other people.

http://blogs.disc...es-dont/

If you place the Earth into more dense vacuum (no matter, which weakly interacting particles its density is really formed by), the speed of energy spreading and therefore the time will slow down and gravity constant will decrease, because inside of such dense environment the material object will "swell" while losing its weight. It will affect the fine structure constant, for example.

http://www.physor...759.html http://www.physor...s64.html
Xaero
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 24, 2010
It does not indicate that an increase in neutino radiation inhibites radioactive decay, just the opposite.

Of course, this is why I asked Skeptic_Heretic and david_42, how did they come into their speculations. The more particles is in vacuum, the easier the massive objects are "dissolved" with it. For example, if we place particles of common matter into dense vacuum around black hole, they will evaporate into accretion radiation there. It may be not so easy for us to distinguish vacuum density variations from changes of physical constants. By recent French study the light speed slows down by a few centimeters per second each year as determined by Lunar ranging data.

http://physics.ve...699.html

Is the Sun is really about to enter a cloud of interstellar gas, these phenomena may be apparently related.

http://www.scient...llar_gas
daywalk3r
3.6 / 5 (23) Aug 24, 2010
..our current quantization of time is by definition directly related to isotope decay rates..
How did you come into it? Our clock are based on lasers.
You might want to check out the definition of a "second" at your so beloved Wiki :)

Albeit there are better and more stable/accurate methods to measure time, like for example magneto-optical traps (which utilize lasers, as you wrote above), the definition of a standard "second" in the International System of Units is still based on "periods of radiation" of the caesium-133 atom, which is closely related with its half-life/decay rate.

If you place the Earth into more dense vacuum..
Why so complicated, when you can just say "into more curved space" or "deeper into a gravity well" - and then it is just a basic effect of relativity, rather than making up piles of nonsensical terms to describe it.. (?)
alq131
3.3 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2010
It's not clear from the article if the seasonal affect is tied to a distance from the sun or some spot "fixed" in space. Say there is a neutrino-oscillation standing-wave surrounding the sun...as the earth passes through the peaks and valleys we see this effect. I'd be interested to know if the seasonal effect precesses at all as the plane of the earths orbit changes angle w.r.t. the sun's axis of rotation.
Xaero
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
You might want to check out the definition of a "second" at your so beloved Wiki :)
Please, do not reply like Skeptic Heretic troll. Why I should read something, if it didn't help you to formulate the direct counterargument anyway? If you have such an argument, why not to post it and add the link for it without quibbles? Don't pretend, you have argument, when no such argument exist - or you will be punished by lost of credit for future. You people are behaving really like imbeciles in general. Virtually every second response here is based on some logical fallacy. You cannot dispute logically at all. Where did you learn it? The contemporary society is based on lies and demagogies.

http://www.don-li...nts.html

Of course I know the definition of time unit in the system of units (SI) at Wikipedia. It doesn't deal with timequantization and radioactive decay the more. In this context the reference to article about second unit is completely irrelevant.
Xaero
1.4 / 5 (9) Aug 24, 2010
Why so complicated, when you can just say "into more curved space" or "deeper into a gravity well" - and then it is just a basic effect of relativity, rather than making up piles of nonsensical terms to describe it.. (?)

Because there is no direct apparent logic between curvature of space and stability of particles.

For example, most of physicists believe, the accretion radiation occurs only when the particles falling into black hole are colliding mutually under friction. They do not realize, accretion radiation is produced even when single particle is falling into black hole.

Whereas in context of dense aether theory the curved space-time, which manifests with gravitational lensing is really area of more dense vacuum foam, something like blob of jelly around massive bodies. It has its own mass (dark matter) and surface tension (dark energy).
Xaero
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
When some particle falls into gravity field of black hole, it's virtually dissolved here like lump of wet sand, when being immersed into watter. Is still the "basic effect" of relativity? Actually not, because from this model follows, most of matter will evaporate into radiation a well before it can reach the black hole event horizon. From this perspective the black holes cannot be formed with gradual accretion of matter at all - which will affect most of theories of black hole formation known so far.

I really don't think, relativists realized these subtleties. When Einstein argued, that black holes would not form, because he held that the angular momentum of collapsing particles would stabilize their motion at some radius, he was mostly ignored by mainstream.

http://dx.doi.org.../1968902

Do you still think, it's the "basic consequence" of relativity?
daywalk3r
3.4 / 5 (17) Aug 24, 2010
Of course I know the definition of time unit in the system of units (SI) at Wikipedia. It doesn't deal with quantization and radioactive decay the more. In this context the reference to article about second unit is completely irrelevant.
Ok, so you might be aware of the text, though it seems you are unable to comprehend what it means in its full depth..

My question therefor is: Do I really need to elaborate on everything in a way, that would make all of the content of my post easily understandable to most non-scientificaly involved/educated readers? On a science news site?

Point being, that if you fail to comprehend, it does not certainly mean that the disputed content is incomprehensible.

Try to shift some electrons in your head for once and come up with a reason why the method could be related with the half-life of the atom in question..

If you come up with something even remotely close, I will rate your next 5 posts with a 5 - regardless of their content! :)
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
It's not clear from the article if the seasonal affect is tied to a distance from the sun or some spot "fixed" in space

This article was dedicated to another study. You can read more details about it here:

http://physicswor...ws/36108

I presume, it's the distance from Sun, albeit the center of mass of solar system may be relevant there, too.
Xaero
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 24, 2010
Do I really need to elaborate on everything in a way, that would make all of the content of my post easily understandable to most non-scientificaly involved/educated readers?
Actually - yes. You don't understand the subject at all, until you cannot explain it your grandmother. Don't hide behind abstract concepts and formal stuff, if you don't understand the things in trivial way. Just the lack of trivial connections is what makes contemporary physics so difficult to comprehend.

This doesn't affect the rest of insights of yours about shifted time definition in presence of weakly interacting particles, which is actually quite correct and relevant. You just fabricated the evidence for it with using of radioactive decay based definition of time too easily. Because our current definition of time is NOT based on radioactive decay, its "quantization" the less. Period.
daywalk3r
3 / 5 (14) Aug 24, 2010
Because there is no direct apparent logic between curvature of space and stability of particles.
This just shows you lack understanding, or a certain level of "insight", of what relativity (with small "r") really means. I can only try to point you in the right direction by saying that everything is RELATIVE ;-)

If the observer goes into the "denser aether" region together with the observed sample, he will not measure any change. But if you take 2 samples and send one sample into a region with "denser aether" while keeping the second sample outside, with the observer holding position, and then return the sent sample, the observer should be able to measure a change in the returned samples decay progression - by comparing (relating) the both samples.

And now a classic:
If you have such an argument, why not to post it and add the link for it without quibbles?
Because arguments do not allways have to be based on some (wiki) links, as you might believe..

;-D
Xaero
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
Because arguments do not always have to be based on some (wiki) links, as you might believe..
Of course not, but it's not me, who tried to use Wiki based definition of second as an counterargument. The rest of your thoughts about "dense aether" region is logical and I can have nothing against it.

But it's a certain way of thinking, which makes even the relativity relative, so it cannot be replaced with it. Dense aether theory is actually even more relativistic, then the relativity alone - because its postulated so. Aether is invisible recursive geometry based concept in it - it cannot be never seen directly.

For example, from relativity follows, universe should expand in increasing rate, which introduces an inertial reference frame for Universe. In dense aether theory it's a dispersion effect - we would perceive ourself at the center of Universe expansion at all places of it - which violates Big Bang concept.

http://www.scienc...rk_energ
daywalk3r
2.8 / 5 (13) Aug 24, 2010
Our current definition of time is not based on radioactive decay, its quantization the less. Period.
Please, don't try to put this "into my mouth". If you still insist to do so, then please with a direct quote from my post next time. Thank you :)

All I did point out is, that those two "things" are closely related - which you would probably agree with, if you understood the subject in full extent.

You just fabricated the evidence for it with using of radioactive decay based definition of time too easily.
All I did attempt to fabricate was the wording of my post, without any need to "make up" stuff from thin air (or aether if you like). I just pointed out a relation, and used it as a base for a few simple assumptions. Which might have been correct or wrong - as this is a more of a "discussion" rather than a "post your scientific fact" thread.

If you have problems with anything I wrote, you are more than welcome to concur - within reason ofc.

Hope this makes it more clear.
Xaero
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 24, 2010
All I did point out is, that those two "things" are closely related
You told us:

.."The decay simply gives us a standard to use in order to measure time ... our current quantization of time is by definition directly related to isotope decay rates ... You might want to check out the definition of a "second" at your so beloved Wiki.."

None of the above sentences is actually correct, because time and second unit definition is NOT based on isotope decay rates, some time quantization the less... You got the right idea, but you've used a wrong arguments for it.

I hope, I made it clear perfectly by now.
daywalk3r
3.4 / 5 (18) Aug 24, 2010
Jesus Batman..
None of the above sentences is actually correct, because time definition is not BASED on isotope decay rates, some time quantization the less...
Pleeeease..
Where did you find the word "BASED" if that quote? Milled out of pure dense aether, or what? :)

I say it again: Please refrain from putting words into other's mouths, unless you can really back up your claims.

BASED and RELATED is Megaparsecs apart! :)

I can see why one would "jump the gun" so quickly on that quote, but after a more carefull re-read, one would realize his error. I appologize for the wording though.

I believe SH was talking about a bait/trap more up in the thread, though he missed the "real" one (the one you quoted), it seems :-D

PS: So who looks like a fool now? :-D Much fun in this thread, I can tell :) No offense whatsoever, take all with a bit of humour :)

Best regards and cheers.
Xaero
Aug 24, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
..So who looks like a fool now?..
OK, just show us, how "our current quantization of time is by definition directly related to isotope decay rates".

Can you show us such definition? How did you come into it? It's was my original question, after all. I never got an direct answer, only some Wikipedia link.

..BASED and DIRECTLY RELATED is Megaparsecs apart..
I'd say, these terms differ just with causality arrow. "Related" means, the concepts are siblings in gradient of casual space density.
daywalk3r
3.6 / 5 (20) Aug 24, 2010
Can you show us such definition? How did you come into it? It's was my original question, after all.
And I have asked you, sincerelly, to give your brain some exercise and attempt to come up with an answer to this, all by yourself. I even offered a reward! ;-)

I just want to see what you can come up with by using AWT, before giving any significant spoilers. Is that bad? :)

The first helper hint would be: "periods of radiation".
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
And I have asked you, sincerely, to give your brain some exercise and attempt to come up with an answer to this, all by yourself
I can see at least two moral problems with your approach:

Problem No.1: You're pretending, your fallacy has some logical solution, although no such solution may not actually exist at all!

Problem No.2: You're transferring your responsibility for argumentation of your claims to me. It's your stance - so it's just you, who is expected to provide some arguments for it.

In this connection, I'm perceiving your reward offer as a somewhat desperate attempt to replace logical arguments with politics - and maybe some little humor.

BTW The definition is an intersubjective concept and as being an axiom (i.e. tautology) it doesn't require any further reasoning. Just show us the definition of time quantization by radioactive decay - and we are ready with it.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2010
Moral problems?

Utter word salad.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2010
Also notice the decay rate was ever so slightly faster in the winter, when the earth is at its closest to the sun. This indicates that as the solar neutrino radiation increases, probably by the inverse square rule, as the earth get closer to the sun.
Only for one hemisphere, not both. That is the difference between solar proximity and solar insolation.
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
BTW Do you see, how obstinately the people are willing to defeat some nonsense, when they're systematically driven to it? They would rather die, then they would simply admit, it was simply BS. A pretty well like collapsing bubbles or evaporating droplet - the smaller they're, the higher curvature and surface tension force they exhibit.
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2010
Moral problems? Utter word salad.
Amoral people tend to ignore and neglect moral subtleties in similar way, like stupid people tend to ignore the logical fallacies.
..Only for one hemisphere, not both. That is the difference between solar proximity and solar insolation...
How did you get into hemisphere and insolation? The Earth is virtually transparent for neutrinos.
Question
2.6 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
Also notice the decay rate was ever so slightly faster in the winter, when the earth is at its closest to the sun. This indicates that as the solar neutrino radiation increases, probably by the inverse square rule, as the earth get closer to the sun.
Only for one hemisphere, not both. That is the difference between solar proximity and solar insolation.

The earth's orbit around the sun is not a perfect circle. The earth is several million miles closer to the sun in the winter than it is in the summer.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2010
How did you get into hemisphere and insolation? The Earth is virtually transparent for neutrinos.
Not according to the above article. When you aquire new information you should fit it into your abstractions of reality. It will serve you well crayola boy.
The earth's orbit around the sun is not a perfect circle. The earth is several million miles closer to the sun in the winter than it is in the summer.
Which winter? Winter in the northern hemisphere or winter in the southern hemisphere? Remember the old Yahoo Serious vid about Australia compared to the US? "When it's winter over here it's summer over there!"
Question
3 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2010
SH: I am referring to the northern hemisphere's winter.
On January 3, perihelion, the Earth is closest to the Sun (147.3 million km). The Earth is farthest from the Sun on July 4, or aphelion (152.1 million km). The average distance of the Earth from the Sun over a one-year period is about 149.6 million km.
http://www.physic.../6h.html
MaxwellsDemon
5 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010
There seems to be some confusion about the correlation of neutrino flux with decay rate.

Cramer notes this in a response to the papers written by these scientists:
"The first paper suggests that a decrease in neutrino flux with increasing Earth-Sun distance reduces the radioactivity decay rate, while the solar flare paper suggests that the increase in neutrino flux during a solar flare reduces the radioactivity decay rate."
http://www.npl.wa...147.html

Here are the original papers:
Evidence for Correlations Between Nuclear Decay Rates and Earth-Sun Distance
http://arxiv.org/...83v1.pdf

Perturbation of Nuclear Decay Rates During the Solar Flare of 13 December 2006
http://arxiv.org/...3156.pdf
Pyle
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
Where in the article does it suggest that an increase in neutrinos causes the slowed decay linked to the solar flares? What research has shown that neutrino activity increases a day and a half before a solar flare? If this were detectable and the case than this finding wouldn't have the detection application that is mentioned.

On to seasonality, we're assuming neutrino "density" increases closer to the sun. OK, I'll buy it. The guess is that this increase in neutrinos slows the decay. I like SH's hypothesis about density. Since the solar flare activity isn't tied to neutrino activity, yet, no contradiction.
MaxwellsDemon
5 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2010
There's a contradiction in the proposed explanations, not (necessarily) with the data. I'm not aware of any data that shows a change in neutrino flux during a solar flare, one way or another (though with increased proton flux the intuitive assumption is of increased neutrino flux as well). So either the change in neutrinos is there but as yet undetected, or there's a different particle involved.

But to explain both changes in decay rates through the 'neutrino interaction hypothesis,' it looks like we'd have to find a drop in neutrino flux during solar flare activity. Which would be weird, though not impossible I suppose.
hodzaa
1 / 5 (7) Aug 25, 2010
There seems to be some confusion about the correlation of neutrino flux with decay rate.
You're right, but later article states clearly:

"The present paper supports the work of Jenkins, et al. who present evidence for a correlation between nuclear decay rates and Earth-Sun distance."

Whereas the graphs in later article are clearly indicating, that during solar flares the decay speed actually decreases in contrary to first Jenkins article.

.. it looks like we'd have to find a drop in neutrino flux during solar flare activity..

It context of dense aether theory such finding has a good meaning, as it predicts, massive objects should be surrounded with dark matter composed of antineutrinos, which are accelerating beta decay, whereas solar flares are composed of neutrinos, which are decelerating it, as I explained above. At least we have some phenomena, in which this theory can be tested.
hodzaa
1 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
We can simplify the understanding of this dependence further, if we imagine, every massive object is surrounded with sparse cloud of antimatter, which generates the negative curvature of space-time and it annihilates with observable matter slowly under formation of positrons and 511 keV X-ray signal, thus accelerating its dissolving into radiation (actually we discussed it recently in discussion about asymmetry of B-mesons decay). With compare to solar activity, which generates a flux of normal neutrinos, thus compensating this effect partially.

The trouble is that solar flares are relatively brief - it's an effect that lasts 20 - 40 minutes. The studies of annual variations were performed over a period of two years and still the statistical errors are just a little below the expected effect. If solar flares caused an effect observable over few minutes, it would surely have to be much larger to stand out from the noise.
Ethelred
3.8 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
First of, our current quantization of time is by definition directly related to isotope decay rates.
No. Its based on a hyperfine electron transition in cesium. And yes I read something like what you seem to be thinking about decades ago and didn't get the real way its done till much later. At least a decade.
Units is still based on "periods of radiation" of the caesium-133 atom, which is closely related with its half-life/decay rate.
Its not that kind of radiation.

And Zephir also got it wrong.

Not lasers MASERS.

It is still cesium but now its a atomic fountain at a very low temperature.

The Wiki keeps saying the same silly thing "based on a certain transition of the caesium-133". Well they got to the point later.

http://en.wikiped...ic_clock

http://en.wikiped...ansition

Ethelred
hodzaa
1 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
When I talked about gravity constant fluctuations, this recent Nature article may be of some relevance for someone:

Recent measurements of gravitational constant increase uncertainty over accepted value.

http://www.nature...30a.html
hodzaa
1 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
And Zephir also got it wrong. Not lasers MASERS.
Yep, you're right. Because mass of cesium atoms/electrons will be affected with changes of gravity constant, it would mean, the time measure will not be constant anymore inside of vacuum variable density in contrary to my claim above. Because time unit changes, the (gravitational) acceleration constant will change, too.
..It is still cesium but now its a atomic fountain at a very low temperature..
I don't know, why it makes silly the Wiki claims about "transition of the caesium-133". The form of caesium doesn't affect the fact, it's still caesium-133. The purpose of fountain is only to eliminate the mutual interactions of atoms in gravity field.
Ethelred
4 / 5 (8) Aug 25, 2010
There is no such thing a variable density vacuum.

It fairly easy to understand why they used the term Transition of cesium. The odd part was they didn't say what kind of transition till the end.

The hyperfine transition has to do with the spin of the electron. The magnetic moment of the spin can be either the same as for the nucleus or the opposite of the nucleus which has a higher energy level than for the same spin. This a much lower energy transition than for a change of orbitals. Thus the change can have a higher frequency.

Apparently this spin flip frequency is more stable than most other oscillators. Hydrogen masers are more accurate but it is more difficult to maintain their stability.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2010
SH: I am referring to the northern hemisphere's winter.
On January 3, perihelion, the Earth is closest to the Sun (147.3 million km). The Earth is farthest from the Sun on July 4, or aphelion (152.1 million km). The average distance of the Earth from the Sun over a one-year period is about 149.6 million km.
http://www.physic.../6h.html

Right, and since the author of the abstract didn't specify, and the paper itself makes no statement as to seasonality, you have a defined need to be as accurate as possible.
hodzaa
1 / 5 (8) Aug 25, 2010
There is no such thing a variable density vacuum.
Only until someone postulates it. Without this concept it's difficult to explain changes in physical constants, speed of light, etc in illustrative way. I don't know, why people adhering so obstinately on concept of empty vacuum and formal space-time, although they have no better explanation for many aspects of space-time behavior (from light wave and photons over magnetic field, quantum noise to dark matter and gravity field). It's sort of modern trollism.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1002.1846
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
Only until someone postulates it.
No, it is a completely self contradictory phrase.
I don't know, why people adhering so obstinately on concept of empty vacuum and formal space-time, although they have no better explanation for many aspects of space-time behavior (from light wave and photons over magnetic field, quantum noise to dark matter and gravity field). It's sort of modern trollism.
More word salad.

We do not consider space to be a vaccuum. You really need to modernize your understanding of physics if you're going to try to find fault with it.
hodzaa
1 / 5 (7) Aug 25, 2010
We do not consider space to be a vacuum.
I didn't said it. It's red herring fallacy.
..u really need to modernize your understanding of physics ..
The need of understanding, reading something etc. it's credibility impeachment fallacy. You haven't disproved anything from my previous claims with some factual arguments.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
We do not consider space to be a vacuum.
I didn't said it. It's red herring fallacy.
No, you insinuated it rather clearly, or your capability within english is lesser than originally thought.

..u really need to modernize your understanding of physics ..
The need of understanding, reading something etc. it's credibility impeachment fallacy.
I wouldn't say it is fallacy.
You haven't disproved anything from my previous claims with some factual arguments.
You haven't made any falsifiable claims to work with nor have you engaged in any form of research or empirical reasoning. There's nothing to your argument with which anyone can speak to or against. All I can do is spot your woefully apparent misgivings on the current statements of physics. You're just THAT bad at this. I now can understand through inference how the prosecuting attourney felt when he dismantled Intelligent Design in his closing statements.
Skultch
not rated yet Aug 25, 2010
Would the sun (neutrinos or unknown particle) cause a slower decay rate for ALL isotopes, or just certain ones? I also assume carbon-14 would be affected, thus affecting archeological dating, but is that a fair assumption? If so, how significant is it? 0.001% difference? 1%? Would our error be exponentially off as the samples get older?
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2010
Would the sun (neutrinos or unknown particle) cause a slower decay rate for ALL isotopes, or just certain ones?
So far 54Mn, 32Si and 226Ra were observed, 32Si, 44Ti and 137Cs, 238Be a 238-Pu are suspected. Barrow and Shaw provided a theory
in which the Sun could affect both the alpha- and
beta-decay rates of terrestrial nuclei by a scalar field  which would modulate the terrestrial value of the electromagnetic fine structure constant.

http://arxiv.org/.../0702090

Scalar field is basically "more dense vacuum", it just sounds more noble for laymans.
Xaero
1 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
The maximal seasonal change was observed for 32Si in range of 0.1% Isotopes decaying via strong nuclear interaction should be less affected.
Question
3 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2010
Would the sun (neutrinos or unknown particle) cause a slower decay rate for ALL isotopes, or just certain ones? I also assume carbon-14 would be affected, thus affecting archeological dating, but is that a fair assumption? If so, how significant is it? 0.001% difference? 1%? Would our error be exponentially off as the samples get older?

This article does not state that the neutrino radiation slows down the rate of radioactive decay. It states that the rate of decay slows down slightly a day and a half before a solar flare becomes visibile. Why? Probably because less neutrino radiation is being created below where the flare will erupt.
This article also states that radioactive decay increases slight in the winter. The earth is closest to the sun during this period. One can assume the neutrino radiation from the sun would follow the inverse square and be slightly more intense closer to the sun.
Skultch
not rated yet Aug 25, 2010
Probably because less neutrino radiation is being created below where the flare will erupt.
This article also states that radioactive decay increases slight in the winter.


Thanks. I had it backwards twice, but that's roughly what I thought. I thought the solar flare would increase neutrino output and the output was prohibitive, not causative. So, is it possible now that this discovery could suggest that the sun is completely responsible for decay? I think someone else alluded to the possibility of little to no decay in intergalactic space.

Also, what was wrong with Zaero's last two responses? Is he, Alize, Jigga, etc making stuff up again? Are his percentages at least correct? How does the strong force affect decay? Sorry for my ignorance.
Question
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2010
The strong force does not affect decay rates but gamma ray radiation can.
Let's assume that neutrino radiation is responsible for almost all radioactive decay. From the slight changes caused by the sun it is safe to say that almost all the radioactive decay is caused by the natural background of neutrino radiation whose source is from elsewhere in the universe. So interstellar space radioactive decay rates would be only slightly less than they are in our solar system.
Skultch
not rated yet Aug 25, 2010
The strong force does not affect decay rates but gamma ray radiation can.
Let's assume that neutrino radiation is responsible for almost all radioactive decay. From the slight changes caused by the sun it is safe to say that almost all the radioactive decay is caused by the natural background of neutrino radiation whose source is from elsewhere in the universe. So interstellar space radioactive decay rates would be only slightly less than they are in our solar system.


... and then there is no such thing as the weak force, right? If theoretically so, then how does that change the standard model?
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2010
The weak force would still exist. But the origin of the weak force is the natural background of neutral neutrino radiation. It could simplify the Standard Model by a thousandfold.
frajo
5 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
If the assumption is correct that solar neutrinos are influencing the decay rates of radioactive isotopes
then the effect should be noticeable by unexepcted changes in the amount of power generation and in the life span of the radioactive thermoelectric generators of the space probes floating in the outer regions of the solar system.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2010
Scalar field is basically "more dense vacuum", it just sounds more noble for laymans.
Uhm, no.
A scalar field is simply a tensor field of order zero, meaning it is independent of coordinate systems and displays characteristic distribution homogenously allowing two disparate observers to agree upon a measurement. IE: the Higgs field would be a scalar field, if it exists. Scalar fields are related to just about everything in physics as from scalar fields arise the "constants" that we're familiar with. Any field that is invariant under Lorentz transformation is "scalar".

"More dense vaccuum" is word salad.
MaxwellsDemon
5 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
@frajo: Good catch. The Cassini data shows a null result on this effect:

“Peter Cooper of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., recently did just that. He obtained and analyzed data from the Cassini mission to Saturn. Deep-space probes usually generate power from the heat emitted by a chunk of radioactive material—plutonium-238 for the Cassini spacecraft. Cassini journeyed as close to the sun as Venus and then far back to Saturn, spanning a much wider range of distances from the sun than Earth does during its yearly orbit. If the sun had an effect on plutonium decay, the fluctuations would have been much more substantial than those seen in Earth-bound experiments. As a result, Cooper reasoned, Cassini should have measured substantial changes in its generator’s output. It didn’t. (His paper is posted online at http://arxiv.org/...)"

Source: http://dinosaurc1...ecay.htm
MaxwellsDemon
5 / 5 (6) Aug 26, 2010
And this, from the same source:
“Meanwhile, Eric Norman of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California reanalyzed data from experiments on radioactive americium, barium, silver, titanium and tin, and found no seasonal variations, he says.”
http://dinosaurc1...ecay.htm
Javinator
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 26, 2010
A vacuum, by definition, would be the absense of density (ie. volume without mass).

Please stop saying more dense vacuum.
Question
2 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
If the assumption is correct that solar neutrinos are influencing the decay rates of radioactive isotopes
then the effect should be noticeable by unexepcted changes in the amount of power generation and in the life span of the radioactive thermoelectric generators of the space probes floating in the outer regions of the solar system.

One would think so, but what must be realized is the difference is in the single digit parts per million. Now I don't think a nuclear power plant operator would notice such a small difference.
These differences are so small it requires rigid scientific methods to even notice. Also over the lifetime of a power plant there would be no difference, what you gain in the winter you lose in the summer.
Skultch
not rated yet Aug 26, 2010
The weak force would still exist. But the origin of the weak force is the natural background of neutral neutrino radiation. It could simplify the Standard Model by a thousandfold.


If a force can have at it's source a particle collision, then what is the source of the other forces? Why would we call the effect of a collision a force and lump that in with the other three? What gives an electron it's charge? What particle keeps nuclei together? Would a higgs create mass or create a gravity force? Is there a difference? I guess I don't understand the fundamental meaning of the 4 forces. Maybe it would be better for everyone to point me to simple physics 101.
El_Nose
not rated yet Aug 26, 2010
Someone mentioned ampliying the effect in a localised area to increase or decrease decay rate -- best possible application to date

rendering nuclear missles into just regular bombs with lead shrapnel
Question
2.4 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
Quote: "Good catch. The Cassini data shows a null result on this effect:"

It is not surprising that Cassini would not show a difference, it was not designed to count decay rates.

But Cassini may be telling us there is a difference and we just do not realize it. A very subtle difference in the decay rates could be affecting all the instruments abroad the craft. This may be showing up as anomalous acceleration in the nuclear power spacecraft.

Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
Quote: "Good catch. The Cassini data shows a null result on this effect:"

It is not surprising that Cassini would not show a difference, it was not designed to count decay rates.

But Cassini may be telling us there is a difference and we just do not realize it. A very subtle difference in the decay rates could be affecting all the instruments abroad the craft. This may be showing up as anomalous acceleration in the nuclear power spacecraft.


Cassini has a decay rate monitor on board, the "fuel gauge".
Question
2.3 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
Skultch: I am not going to try answering all your questions but I think you are wondering where the force (momentum and energy) that causes these radioactive decays comes from. It comes from previous radioactive decays from all corners of the universe.
There is a huge amount of this neutral neutrino radiation in the background because it so rarely interacts with matter.
Skultch
5 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2010
Skultch: I am not going to try answering all your questions but I think you are wondering where the force (momentum and energy) that causes these radioactive decays comes from. It comes from previous radioactive decays from all corners of the universe.
There is a huge amount of this neutral neutrino radiation in the background because it so rarely interacts with matter.


Ok, that makes sense, I guess. My problem is semantic. I just don't get why they call that a force and not an interaction. It's misleading to me, but I'm less than a layman, I guess.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
I just don't get why they call that a force and not an interaction. It's misleading to me, but I'm less than a layman, I guess.
Because all forces are interactions. This is what gauge bosons do. They are effectively the "particle/wave" that carries the information resulting in the effect of force.`
yyz
5 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
After re-reading this article several times (& still confused), I asked a few knowledgeable people for their take on this and got this interesting reply:

"The physics of radioactive decay rates is strange. This is the sort of physics I hate to see come about, and when it does I prefer that it goes away. I took a couple of courses from E. Fischbach, a big proponent of this, and the guy is curious to say the least. Back then he was all over the map over the “fifth force,” which has faded away like the morning fog. Much the same might happen here. Fischbach is attracted to the quirky aspects of physics. He is intrigued by these oddities, for there is always a chance something might come about that changes everything. That is what we have going on here." con't
yyz
5 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
con't

"From at least a first glance this simply does not make any sense. There can be all sorts of complicated stuff with solar physics and variations in nuclear processes and neutrino production. How this could causally affect the nuclear or weak interaction forces is utterly implausible. My only hunch is that if something is really going on that there is some quantum entanglement involving the quantum fields of these forces that is somehow set up. I am not going to put any bet on this, for even still this is an extreme dark horse prospect. Neutrinos produced in the core of the sun interact so weakly with anything sitting on a lab bench, whether that being a neutrino detector or an isotope of some element, that it is difficult to imagine there being some causal process going on here."

A google search on Fischbach's 'fifth force' turned up this: http://www.rexres...erch.htm

con't
yyz
5 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
I knew that name sounded familiar. This guy is pretty much as advertised. For now, I'm putting recent claims in my 'dubious' file until these results can be replicated and confirmed, preferably by independent researchers.
Parsec
5 / 5 (4) Aug 26, 2010
I got to this story late -here goes

Okay we have problems here - relativity is so far consistant. Now the issue hear is that they are suggesting that by measuring radioactive decay on earth you will know 8 minutes in advance that a huge solar flare is coming at earth. This violates the rules that information cannot travel faster than the speed of light.


Read the article again. The delay between measurements and the solar flare hitting was about 1.5 days. We are talking about measuring a signal that travels at (or VERY close to) the speed of light, against an influx of matter traveling a bare fraction of that speed.
RegularGuy
4.4 / 5 (5) Aug 26, 2010
Sometimes simplest explanations should be considered first. Perhaps neutrinos or whatever the sun emitts is acting on the detector used to measure the isotope's decay rate and thereby masking/cancelling/interfering with detecting some of the isotope's decay to a more or lesser extent depending on the flux rate of the "whatever". Perhaps comparing decay rates using detectors of varing technologies will show that some detector types are more susceptible to this interference than others and help demonstrate that the decay rate really is constant. It is odd that in years of supposedly preceise radioactive decay measurements, nobody has noticed this before and few here have seriously questioned this fact. Are the probably realtively few people observing these anomalies first hand using the same/new type detector? Dust off and try the oldest detector that used to get constant results. Do I smell Cold Fusion?
yyz
5 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2010
"Sometimes simplest explanations should be considered first"

Definitely agree. Having read some of Dr Fischbachs papers on the "fifth force" that were reported on here a few years ago, there was a tendency to stray from simple explanations in order to explore new possibilities (that really didn't seem warranted in light of the evidence he presented). From what I can see, this trend has continued back to his original work in the *mid 80s*. This is one reason I'd want to see independent verification of his results before investing more time in his theories. Papers (and popular news accounts) are listed in the link I gave above. If you're not familiar with Dr. Fischbachs work, check some of them out before giving this current claim further thought. He may be on to something.....but it has been nearly 25 years with little to show, IMO.
Gawad
5 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2010
[qIf you're not familiar with Dr. Fischbachs work, check some of them out before giving this current claim further thought. He may be on to something.....but it has been nearly 25 years with little to show, IMO.

Damn fine call on that, yyz. It'll be very interesting to see if further experiments with tight controls are able to reproduce and quantify this effect, especially if they are performed by other teams. Fischbachs methodology will also have to be closely reviewed. If he's right, this may well point to new physics. If he's not, well, it'll be back to square one for him...again.
freethinking
1.2 / 5 (9) Aug 27, 2010
Caliban - I've had this discussion for many years that the age of something using radioactive decay assumes that the sun output a constant stream of radioactive elements, and that this assumption may or may not be true.

The other question is this effect constant over the years or has there been a time where this effect was much more pronounced? If yes, how could this be proved?

My guess is that the age of things will determine to be much younger than first believed.
Xaero
1 / 5 (7) Aug 27, 2010
A vacuum, by definition, would be the absense of density (i.e. volume without mass). Please stop saying more dense vacuum.
Watter surface is empty and invisible for surface waves, too. This doesn't mean, it's mass/energy density has no physical meaning. Wheeler and Misner in their Geometrodynamics estimated mass density of vacuum to inverted value, i.e. some third power of Planck constant, 10E+93 grams per cubic centimeter.

http://arxiv.org/abs/1002.1846
http://math.ucr.e...uum.html

In dense aether theory vacuum depends on observational perspective, which explains so called the vacuum catastrophe: http://en.wikiped...astrophe
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (5) Aug 27, 2010
Watter surface is empty and invisible for surface waves, too.
No, it is entirely made up of water, and possibly inpurities of said water. It is not a vaccuum.
Cave_Man
2 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
I bet this is why the Voyager Spacecraft power sources lasted so much longer than predicted.

Less neutrinos=more instability and more decay.

Unless I read that wrong and neutrinos actually cause more decay.
Cave_Man
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2010
If the assumption is correct that solar neutrinos are influencing the decay rates of radioactive isotopes
then the effect should be noticeable by unexepcted changes in the amount of power generation and in the life span of the radioactive thermoelectric generators of the space probes floating in the outer regions of the solar system.


That what I was thinking and like my previous post states, the Voyager Spacecraft were powered by radioactive decay and they lasted much much longer than originally planned.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
All those saying that this finding invalidates any kind of dating process based on nuclear decay should look at this graph
http://www.scienc...29dabe08

The rate change is about 0.3% for current solar activity levels. Even if the sun were significantly more active in the past (to a degree that still allows life) this would still mean that the dating techniques are off - in an absolutely catastrophic worst case scenario - by less than 5% due to this effect
Ethelred
3.3 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2010
Vacuum catastrophe


Which is strong evidence that there IS NO vacuum catastrophe because there is no Zero Point Energy. Which is quite obvious since the whole Universe would have been snuffed out as a singularity before it ever got started.

Zero Point Energy is a total non-starter due to that AND even if there was such a thing it would be the MINIMUM energy density and thus useless as the power source that fans of ZPE keep pushing.

So far all evidence point to there being nothing to the idea of Vacuum Density even the usual sense. There has never been anything to support Zephir's ideas. Which be why he pretends that he doesn't need numbers.

Actual numbers can be tested.

Ethelred
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 28, 2010
..there is no Zero Point Energy..
The concept of zero-point energy was developed in Germany by a group of physicists, among them Max Planck (1911), Albert Einstein and Otto Stern (1913). Are you more relevant authority for physics, then Planck or Einstein? I somehow doubt it...

http://en.wikiped...t_energy

In water surface model of vacuum this noise corresponds the Brownian noise of water molecules, which blurs the image of objects at short scales (in analogy to so-called uncertainty principle). Actually we can observe with naked eye, how liquid helium cannot freeze even at absolute zero temperature and room pressure, because its atoms are shaken with vibrations of vacuum in similar way, like pollen grains in water. I.e. the ZPE is not just an effect of some location blurring: these atoms have real energy, which makes them movable and superfluous.
Xaero
1 / 5 (7) Aug 28, 2010
..Actual numbers can be tested..
I admit, it's always better to have theory, which can predict and explain things in both qualitative, both quantitative way - but in real world an apparent duality between both these approaches exists: the strictly rigorous theories aren't very logical and predicative at the intuitive level (what you could explain to your grandma with using of string theory, for example?) - and vice-versa. You could consider it as a generalization of uncertainty principle in causal space.

Whereas dense aether theory could be made more number specific with using of computer based particle simulations, the string theory is based on formal abstract postulates - so it cannot be made more logical, then it already is. I didn't invented these general principles and connection - I'm only describing it. They're existing here independently to my free will. So at the moment, when you postulate some theory, you cannot change its further properties, outcome and evolution.
Xaero
1 / 5 (7) Aug 28, 2010
..Less neutrinos=more instability and more decay. Unless I read that wrong and neutrinos actually cause more decay.
This is just the controversy with neutrino hypothesis. In general, the stability of many various radionuclides (not just these, which decay via weak interaction) decreases with decreasing distance from Sun (where we can expect more neutrinos). But the solar flares (which apparently contain more fast neutrinos) slow down the decay temporarily.

http://physicswor...ws/36108

I consider the vacuum as a dynamic system, where mass and energy are in mutual equilibrium. We can imagine the Sun as being surrounded with ocean of cold neutrinos, which increases the decay and dissolution of radionuclides into radiation in similar way, like the water disintegrates the lumps of wet sand. But the neutrinos from solar flares are "hot" and they're doing the ocean of cold neutrinos more diluted in similar way, like fast particle shotted into cluster of cold ones.
lyuden
not rated yet Aug 28, 2010
I am sure I ve heard about Earth-scale correlations of radioactive decay during my radioactivity labs in University, as some strange high order effect. I didn't heard about correlation with Sun, although.

As I know this effect was discovered in 80's. Ok probably those guys rediscovered something soviet researcher did. But strange thing is that results were checked by US scientist too at that time, so it could not be new effect.
Xaero
1 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
The current praxis is, the results of experiments aren't accepted with peer-reviewed journals, until they're not supported with at least some formal theory. This approach slows down the development indeed, because the result of experiments are important for the rest of community even without any theory. Actually I tend to believe these experiments more, then the results, which were collected on behalf of some particular theory because of apparent unconscious bias of many experimenters toward their pet theories.

Richard P. Feynman: "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2010
Zero Point Energy is a total non-starter due to that AND even if there was such a thing it would be the MINIMUM energy density and thus useless as the power source that fans of ZPE keep pushing.

Disagree. If current observations are correct, the Universe is flat. The relevance to this is that if the Universe is flat, and our formulae are reasonably close to correct then the Universe has a net zero energy, meaning that something did come from nothing, and will eventually return to nothing. QM postulates that the Universe, under these conditions, is a large quantum fluxuation with no net energy. This would require zero point energy, although as you say it would be diffuse and entirely unusable.
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 28, 2010
Even the surface of liquid iron in dazzling white glow can be calm and mirror-like flat like pool of mercury - this does say nothing about energy hidden inside of this surface. We can still be creatures, living at this calm surface in quiet. Actually we would evaporate fast even at the energy density existing inside of atom orbitals - not saying about higher dimensions of space-time existing inside of atoms.

http://www.youtub...7RG3UR4c
Javinator
5 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2010
Wheeler and Misner in their Geometrodynamics estimated mass density of vacuum to inverted value, i.e. some third power of Planck constant, 10E+93 grams per cubic centimeter.


From a source you provided:

"So, I've given you 5 answers to the same question (RE:energy density of the "vacuum" of space):

1. VERY CLOSE TO ZERO
2. INFINITY
3. ENORMOUS BUT FINITE
4. ZERO
5. NOT DETERMINED "

For the record, #3 is the one that you're saying is true.

From the same source:

"Which should you believe? I believe 1) because it is based on experiment and fairly conservative assumptions about general relativity and astronomy. Answers 2)-4) are based on somewhat naive theoretical calculations. Answer 5) is the best that quantum field theory can do right now. Reconciling answers 1) and 5) is one of the big tasks of any good theory of quantum gravity. "

Bob_Kob
3 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2010
So perhaps we can develop a solution to nuclear waste?
CaptBarbados
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2010
Test the hypothesis in front of Fermilab's Neutrino Gun.

Any measurable change would allow us to measure the true output of the sun.
StarDust21
5 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2010
This is extremely interesting, perhaps a new element in the short list of great anomalies in physics. I wish they told of what order of magnitude the decay rate drifted. And also why no one observed this before(Im assuming improvement of instruments accuracy made it possible, and thus the change is very small).
Could this mean the current model of nuclear physic isn't complete?
Or on the other case, that there are yet unknown particles emitted by the sun?
Really looking forward for further measurements and data. Very intriguing.
Xaero
1 / 5 (5) Aug 29, 2010
..I've given you 5 answers to the same question.. For the record, #3 is the one that you're saying is true.
Like I've said, the "truth" depends on the observation perspective occupied. You can see a flat empty space-time in water surface, you can focus to tiny Brownian noise with low energy density, or you can consider extra-dimensions and high mass/energy density of underwater. All models have some relevance under some circumstances - dense aether model just explains, how these models arises and how they're related mutually at the moment, when strict logics of math fails and it leads to mutually contradicting results.

String theorists are often saying, we are living in multiverse, formed with various slices of extra-dimensional space-time, dense aether theory explains, this is quite true even for models of everyday phenomena. The above "truths" differs just with location of their slice in hyper-dimensional scale of our Universe, because extra-dimensions are all around us.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (8) Aug 29, 2010
dense aether theory explains...

Nothing. It explains nothing simply because it is so ridiculously nebulous as to explain everything.
Xaero
1.2 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2010
Really looking forward for further measurements and data.
Original articles and answers to most of your questions are linked in discussion above. I don't think, the explanation of phenomena observed requires some really new physics, I presume, it just requires the proper application of existing knowledge. For example, the behavior of low energy neutrinos is still poorly understood. As the number of information increases, the number of mutual connections increases exponentially - so we could overlook some relation easily.
Xaero
1 / 5 (5) Aug 29, 2010
It explains nothing simply because it is so ridiculously nebulous as to explain everything.
The fact, some theory is "nebulous" can be proven easily, if you demonstrate, some phenomena can be explained in multiple ways with using of the same theory. Without it it's just your accusation, what is nebulous here - but not the original theory.

For example, string theory consists of number of mutually contradicting subtheories and it leads to fuzzy landscapes of solutions, because it considers existence of extradimensions and Lorentz symmetry at the same moment. In dense aether theory these two postulates are mutually contradicting each other, because the Lorentz symmetry of waves at some level of space-time is violated just with their dispersion in another level of space-time.
Xaero
1 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
The main source of neutrino controversy is in point, we are assuming space-time basically free of neutrinos. Some free thinkers are saying, vacuum is formed with ocean of neutrinos, which is wrong in my opinion, because we couldn't compute the solar neutrino flux and compare it with experiments so easily.

In some Big Bang model scenarios, the vacuum should be full of relic neutrinos (about 100 neutrinos in cubic centimeter) with average speed 700 km/sec estimated for neutrinos with 0.4 eV rest mass - i.e. less than the escape velocity from the surface of the Sun. Such neutrinos therefore may be expected to have accumulated in gravitational potential wells. Weiler estimated that the density of relic neutrinos in our own galaxy would increase by four orders of magnitude if their mass were 1 eV. Therefore relic neutrinos can form Boltzmann gas with rather complex distribution and behavior.

http://arxiv.org/.../9811324
http://arxiv.org/.../9710431
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2010
We can consider for example, at the proximity of Sun the average speed of neutrinos will be increased and their density decreased, because they would be accelerated with photons and mutual collisions with solar wind particles. The spatial distribution of such neutrinos would be similar to distribution of dark matter after then, and as such they could participate to Pioneer anomaly, for example. In addition, a substantial portion of relic neutrinos could be formed with antiparticles, which may be attracted to areas with zero or negative curvature of space-time, like the Lagrangian points between galaxies, stars and planets. In addition, the anti-neutrinos may affect the beta decay in the opposite way, then the neutrinos, which will result into rather complex consequences, regarding the decay of radioactive elements observed.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
The fact, some theory is "nebulous" can be proven easily, if you demonstrate, some phenomena can be explained in multiple ways with using of the same theory. Without it it's just your accusation, what is nebulous here - but not the original theory.
No, that'd be what we call "useless". THe difference between your junk science and string theory is that string theory, while not being a proper scientific theory on its own, doesn't contradict established theories and attempts to expand upon them.

Your awt nonsense simply tries to re-write everything in terms that are disproved, not disprovable, disproved.
Xaero
1 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
..re-write everything in terms that are disproved, not disprovable, disproved...
This contradicts mutually - if something is disproved, it cannot be non disprovable at the same moment...
munsonthefirst
1 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
Something absurd to consider as well: what this might suggest as to a scientific explanation of Astrology. I'm not saying I believe in or support it, just that if radioactive decay can be so influenced from space, other aspects of existence could be as well.
Xaero
1 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2010
.. what this might suggest as to a scientific explanation of Astrology...
IMO astrology has it scientific roots in the finding, periods of solar activity are driven by location of center of mass of solar system, which switches the currents of solar plasma beneath the surface of Sun by Coriolis force. Therefore the conjunctions of planets may be responsible for violation of this periodicity, which results in climate instabilities and subsequent droughts, wars for (food) sources and or even direct instability of human behavior (we know, how human psychics becomes unstable at the case of Moon and Sun conjunction).

So, if someone reveals, neutrino density is responsible for activity of neurons inside of human brains, I wouldn't be very surprised with this finding - after all, why I should be?
Quix
5 / 5 (4) Aug 29, 2010
I'm retired without a grant. Woe is me. But, if some active researcher were to re-analyze the available data or even acquire new data, a systematic review of the diurnal and other variations of isotope decay rates as functions of:

(a) atomic weight and number

(b) decay type -- alpha, beta, neutron, positron, K-capture, fission etc.

(c) half-life

would be interesting. Empirical information doth soothe the savage imagination.
AlexCoe
2 / 5 (6) Aug 30, 2010
From someone who isn't all wrapped up in debate on this stuff, but interested in the subject...and trying to learn with an open mind…not an open mouth.

The decay rates trend down BEFORE the flare. Why isn't this questioned as some unknown outside influence on both the decay samples and the sun, causing the flares? Since the slowest points seemed to coincide with the flare activity, ending the reduction cycle in the rate of decay.

It’s also consistent with the observation that being closer to the sun, assuming a North American winter, causes an increase in decay rates by virtue of an increase in energy availability from the sun by proximity.

Or did I really read this wrong?
Hesperos
5 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2010
If this *isn't* a neutrino effect, then maybe we're seeing evidence for a particle that possesses no mass or energy, but only information of some form - because if it possessed energy we should've detected it via missing energy in collider data already.

If a particle possesses neither mass nor energy it doesn't exist. Neutrinos exist and certainly have energy. Whether or not they also have mass has been a subject of extensive debate recently. The latest consensus is that they appear to, but not much.

sender
not rated yet Aug 30, 2010
This could proove LENR as well as "washback" effects commonly studied in coastal engineering being applied to plasmon surface structures.
Shootist
1 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
Why does everyone assume it is radiation that is causing the effect. If I understand what is being described, decay rates are slower closer to the Sun? Radiation isn't the only quantity the decreases with the square of the distance. Gravity, tidal force and the curvature of Space-time also increases. Just saying.
SteveL
not rated yet Aug 30, 2010
If the question is already out there I apologize, I didn't see it.

If this effect can detectibly reduce the decay rate of radioactive elements at 1 AU, has anyone considered what this could be doing to radioactive elements in the core of the sun, and how this effects our understanding of solar aging?
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2010
I'm retired without a grant. Woe is me. But, if some active researcher were to re-analyze the available data or even acquire new data, a systematic review of the diurnal and other variations of isotope decay rates as functions of:

(a) atomic weight and number

(b) decay type -- alpha, beta, neutron, positron, K-capture, fission etc.

(c) half-life

would be interesting. Empirical information doth soothe the savage imagination.

I agree with (a) and (b) but what determines (c), the half-life? I have offered my theory in earlier postings here, I would like to hear the Standard Model's reason.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.3 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
I'm retired without a grant. Woe is me. But, if some active researcher were to re-analyze the available data or even acquire new data, a systematic review of the diurnal and other variations of isotope decay rates as functions of:

(a) atomic weight and number

(b) decay type -- alpha, beta, neutron, positron, K-capture, fission etc.

(c) half-life

would be interesting. Empirical information doth soothe the savage imagination.

Here you go.
http://www.period...ife.html
but what determines (c), the half-life? I have offered my theory in earlier postings here, I would like to hear the Standard Model's reason.
The stablity of the isotope. The more stable, the longer the half life, or lack of half life. The less stable, the shorter the halflife.
Question
3 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
If it was only the stability of the isotope that determined the half-life, why wouldn't all of the atoms in this type of isotope decay at the exact half-life?

Stability is a factor, but there has to be a trigger also. I believe neutral neutrino radiation is this trigger. What is the trigger in the Standard Model?

Skeptic_Heretic
2 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
If it was only the stability of the isotope that determined the half-life, why wouldn't all of the atoms in this type of isotope decay at the exact half-life?

Stability is a factor, but there has to be a trigger also. I believe neutral neutrino radiation is this trigger. What is the trigger in the Standard Model?

My knowledge of radioactive decay isn't extensive, but from what I remember, the arrangement of neutrons and protons within the nucleas determine the stability due to the weak nuclear force (beta decay), strong nuclear force (alpha decay, spontaneous fission), and then there are a few rarer types of decay which I think are a combo of the two due to the extremes under which the isotopes are created.

That's from memory and I think I may be wrong in one or two places up there but from recollection it is the nuclear forces that govern half-life and decay.
Question
3 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2010
I would agree it is the nuclear force that determines the stability. But there must be a trigger an external force because if it where from internally, since all of particular isotope are identical, they all decay at the same instant.
frajo
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2010
I would agree it is the nuclear force that determines the stability. But there must be a trigger an external force because if it where from internally, since all of particular isotope are identical, they all decay at the same instant.
This mechanical way of thinking is not appropriate. You could draw instead an (very coarse) analogy with the evaporation of the molecules in a boiling liquid. They don't evaporate all at the same time.
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2010
I would agree it is the nuclear force that determines the stability. But there must be a trigger an external force because if it where from internally, since all of particular isotope are identical, they all decay at the same instant.
This mechanical way of thinking is not appropriate. You could draw instead an (very coarse) analogy with the evaporation of the molecules in a boiling liquid. They don't evaporate all at the same time.

There is a very good reason why they don't all evaporate at the same time and that is because they are heated unevenly. Certainly you aren't claiming that temperature plays a role in radioactive decay are you? Something does, what is it?
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
There is a very good reason why they don't all evaporate at the same time and that is because they are heated unevenly.
Well that's not really accurate. They don't evaporate at the same time due to their molecular position and orientation in addition to relative kinetic energies. If it was just a matter of relative kinetic energy then via thermodynamics you'd see a tipping point at which evaporation, or in the case of solids total sublimation would occur.

If you were to extrapolate this to decay you'd see a continuous emission and re-enrichment process occuring, which doesn't occur.
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2010
From another angle the evaporation analogy helps prove the point I am trying to make. And that is that an external force, heat causes the molecules in a liquid turn into a gas. My claim is that an outside force, neutral neutrino radiation is the trigger involved in radioactive decay. I am still waiting for an explanation of what the internal or external trigger is in the Standard Model.

Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
The trigger is the decay over time due to arrangement caused after stellar nucleosynthesis.
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2010
The trigger is the decay over time due to arrangement caused after stellar nucleosynthesis.

After stellar nucleosynthesis could you explain the trigger that cause radioactive decay here on earth?
Also I fail to see the connection between stellar nucleosynthesis and radioactive decay. One is the putting together the other is the breaking apart.

Xaero
1 / 5 (3) Aug 30, 2010
neutral neutrino radiation is the trigger involved in radioactive decay

You should explain, why solar flares are slowing the radioactive decay, not accelerating.
Question
1 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2010
neutral neutrino radiation is the trigger involved in radioactive decay

You should explain, why solar flares are slowing the radioactive decay, not accelerating.

If I am not mistaken solar flares are actually cooler spots on the surface of the sun. Lower temperature, less fusion, less neutrino radiation leads to slightly lower decay rates here on earth.

frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2010
If it was just a matter of relative kinetic energy then via thermodynamics you'd see a tipping point at which evaporation, or in the case of solids total sublimation would occur.

If you were to extrapolate this to decay you'd see a continuous emission and re-enrichment process occuring, which doesn't occur.
While I don't really want to draw the thermodynamic analogy to far we can't exclude that such re-enrichment processes take place on a time scale to small for us to see.
I am still waiting for an explanation of what the internal or external trigger is in the Standard Model.
We still have no method (except the approximations of lattice QCD) to solve the QCD equations of motion for the nucleus. These equations won't be easier to solve when we have to additionally consider the influence of solar neutrinos. An alternative explanation of radioactive decay by solar neutrinos only would not simplify things.
moj85
not rated yet Sep 01, 2010
Does this article imply that the rate of stuff coming from the sun (neutrinos) is related in some way to the decay rates directly?

Couldn't this be tested pretty easily?

Like, send some satellite with some radioactive material to the far end of the solar system away from the sun, and see what the decay rate is compared to the earth? Or is it not that simple?
Dr_Mabuse
1 / 5 (1) Sep 09, 2010
Could there exist a phenomen of stimulated emission of neutrinos triggered by a high flux of neutrinos like a Laser ?
By the way, which kind of decay is variable ? alpha, beta or gamma ?