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(arXiv)   Radioactive decay rates depend on the Earth-Sun distance..... wait... WHAT??   (arxiv.org) divider line 77
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5285 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Aug 2008 at 4:37 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-08-29 01:23:07 PM
Trippy, man.
 
2008-08-29 01:38:24 PM
well....shiat.
 
2008-08-29 01:39:08 PM
P.S.--I love that this just went green.


...hey, research from fellow Hoosiers! Woo!
 
2008-08-29 01:41:01 PM
Correlation does not imply causation!

/ Umm, I just like repeating catchy slogans.
 
2008-08-29 01:48:18 PM
Linking a .pdf?

Bad form.
 
2008-08-29 01:59:23 PM
JPJ007: Bad form.

i guess i could've linked to this (new window) but then one's looking at two clicks to get to the article instead of one.

\blame it on the sun.
 
2008-08-29 02:04:43 PM
Weird results in science are one of the main drivers of progress.
 
2008-08-29 02:08:07 PM
They show a decays more likely closer to the sun, proportional to inverse distance squared. They conjecture a possible relation to neutrino flux, which would make for an interesting monkey wrench to throw in nuclear physics.
 
2008-08-29 02:20:46 PM
abb3w: neutrino flux

Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody has observed direct evidence that neutrinos exist, right?
 
2008-08-29 02:25:09 PM
Isotope: abb3w: neutrino flux

Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody has observed direct evidence that neutrinos exist, right?


no - they've been measured. it takes a LOT of steel. i think you're probably thinking about the existence of neutrino mass, which is also pretty well established by now (it solves solar neutrino puzzle etc IIRC)...

cheers
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2008-08-29 02:30:47 PM
A couple decades ago somebody discovered an extrasolar planet with an orbital period of 183 days. On further examination, he realized he had discovered that the earth revolves around the sun and he was picking up the second harmonic of that frequency. I'd believe seasonal equipment bias more than neutrinos. So I'm going to wait for more analysis. The radioactivity paper does suggest some further experiments.
 
2008-08-29 02:37:32 PM
I didn't see anything about carbon dating or K-Ar dating, which are the dating methods I think more people are familiar with (or at least aware of). I hope some research is done on the decay rates for those.
 
2008-08-29 02:41:05 PM
Kome: I hope some research is done on the decay rates for those.

"...in light of this finding" I should have included. I know there is a ton of research on both methods of radiometric dating.
 
2008-08-29 02:48:24 PM
abb3w: They show a decays more likely closer to the sun, proportional to inverse distance squared. They conjecture a possible relation to neutrino flux,

Wouldn't gravity field interaction be the obvious elephant in the room, there? Although the phase difference would argue against that, at least against a direct interaction with the decay rate.
 
2008-08-29 02:57:07 PM
Isotope: Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody has observed direct evidence that neutrinos exist, right?

Directly observed? No. They are seen by their interactions with water molecules because the water is transferred energy and visibly reacts. So we build a giant tub of water with sensors all around it to watch for the energy pulse from the water molecule. It is complicated by the fact that neutrinos barely react.
 
2008-08-29 02:59:10 PM
Isotope: Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody has observed direct evidence that neutrinos exist, right?

They're detectable as directly as any other particle; it's merely that the interaction is much, much less probable.
 
2008-08-29 03:11:51 PM
Sliding Carp: Wouldn't gravity field interaction be the obvious elephant in the room, there?

I'm with you here. Δdecay/distance as applied across the Sol-Terra system should be far more significant than seasonal changes.
 
2008-08-29 03:15:22 PM
abb3w: They're detectable as directly as any other particle; it's merely that the interaction is much, much less probable.

which makes the suspicion of the authors re: neutrinos all the more interesting. neutrinos can happily go all the way through the earth. and yet the temporal variation in the data is a few parts per thousand. in that sense, & if this is related to solar neutrinos, this strikes me as a huge effect really.

time to start writing NSF/DOE proposals people!
 
2008-08-29 03:22:09 PM
those pesky neutrinos. haven't they done a control experiment under a light-year thickness of lead yet?
 
2008-08-29 04:17:00 PM
But will it get us any closer to plutonium 186?
 
2008-08-29 04:28:33 PM
Does this imply a sufficiently strong gravitational field could stop radioactive decay? Let's fire all our nuclear waste into a black hole!

Neat article... The correlations are compelling.
 
2008-08-29 04:44:08 PM
Whoa. Does this FUBAR atomic clocks then? The speed of light is different in the summer than the winter? OH THE RADIOACTIVITY!
 
2008-08-29 04:55:29 PM
Have they tried this in both hemispheres?
 
2008-08-29 04:56:03 PM
GunshipPolitico: Whoa. Does this FUBAR atomic clocks then? The speed of light is different in the summer than the winter? OH THE RADIOACTIVITY!

What i find odd is that We have never seen a report that fission plants do not operate better one part of the year. guess the diffrences are Small, so small they are not relevent when compaired to the ammount of decay we induce.
Still you would think that stuff like Cerns and Fermilab would report seasonal diffrences. One would immigine that with the new supercolider going, noticing a seasonal diffrence would be hard.
 
2008-08-29 04:57:20 PM
These are variances on the order of +- 0.2%, if I'm reading things right. Piddling stuff, not enough space for a creationist to make any qualified claims. Tho they will.

Perhaps there is a legitimate shift of some fundamental constant that follows a time-space curve like gravity.

Actually, if there is a connection between the weak nuclear force and the distance from the sun this might indicate where to look for the test String Theorists need to prove or disprove that set of theories.
 
2008-08-29 05:07:01 PM
I'm a neutrino physicist, so kick replies yadda yadda...

My intuition is that the authors will have to add much more to the text of their paper before any experimentalists become eager to plan further investigations. As ZAZ pointed out, there are many factors which can very over the course of a year that could contribute systematics to experimental results. For instance, the LEP collider at CERN (in the tunnel where the LHC is now) used to perform differently depending on whether or not the trains were running, the phase of the moon, and even the water level in Lake Geneva.

On a purely scientific note, the paper would benefit from additional rigor in many departments. What specific neutrino-nucleus interactions could be caused in these isotopes? Does current knowledge about how often neutrinos interact, along with the known solar neutrino flux, support the magnitude of the changes seen?

Finally, their "proposed confirmation" of parking a decaying sample next to a nuclear reactor is potentially half-baked. The sun produces almost a pure stream of neutrinos, while reactors produce mostly antineutrinos. There are basic differences in how the two can interact with nuclei. It is possible that no signal would be seen due to this discrepancy between the two sources.

Finally, remember that this is a v1 pre-print. It has not been reviewed by anyone, save the members of the collaboration (and now, the masses on the internet). Only time will tell as to whether or not these results will become "evidence", or a retraction.
 
2008-08-29 05:10:06 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody has observed direct evidence that neutrinos exist, right?

Enjoy (new window)
 
2008-08-29 05:17:03 PM
ZAZ: I'd believe seasonal equipment bias more than neutrinos.

Yah, but not as interesting. Testing in really frigging deep salt mines might be useful.

Sliding Carp: Wouldn't gravity field interaction be the obvious elephant in the room, there?

Would be deeply and mindblowingly cool, anyway, as it would indicate that Gravitational and Weak Nuclear separation isn't complete. Testing at different depths in really frigging deep salt mines might be useful.

STFU_and_RTFM: But will it get us any closer to plutonium 186?

The Gods Themselves forbid it should.
 
2008-08-29 05:21:05 PM
Ironclad2: the phase of the moon

that correlation was one of the most beautiful results that i can remember - the gravitational
tides on the earth itself affecting the LEP beam energy? you bet! ( cf. fig 3) (new window)

overall though, i agree, there's a lot of other (potential) systematics that need to be understood
before we all go stampeding off to attribute this to the solar neutrino flux!
still, it's an interesting correlation whatever the cause.

cheers
 
2008-08-29 05:24:07 PM
I'm waiting for some fundie *cough* Bevets *cough* to use this as proof that the Bible timeline is correct.

\come on, you know someone will try it.
\\DNRTFA, just like they won't
 
2008-08-29 05:25:55 PM
Well that farks my labor-day plans.
 
2008-08-29 05:28:00 PM
STFU_and_RTFM: But will it get us any closer to plutonium 186?

We can only get it from the gods themselves
 
2008-08-29 05:32:07 PM
sure, but can it make my beer cold
 
2008-08-29 05:42:12 PM
Snarfangel: Weird results in science are one of the main drivers of progress.

Next thing you know, scientists will discover that the Sun affects the Earth's climate....
 
2008-08-29 05:44:56 PM
I was told there would be no math.

/Not really.
 
2008-08-29 05:47:26 PM
TheGreyPiper: Next thing you know, scientists will discover that the Sun affects the Earth's climate....

Or how bright it is...
 
2008-08-29 05:47:55 PM
The annual variation seems small enough to me that although the decay rate may change month to month over the course of decades or centuries, it would all average out to a base value.

That said, I don't think this will have any effect on the accepted accuracy of carbon dating or any other dating method based on radioactive decay.

If it can be shown to effect the decay rate of atomic clocks on a day to day rate, that would be interesting to think that "time" isn't static (at least the way we currently measure it).

I am more intrigued by the gravitational field interaction theory of why the rate changes, that seems plausible to me, but would require a change in how we view gravity and quantum physics, maybe the key to finding the Grand Unifying Theory

/not a scientist
//obviously
 
2008-08-29 05:52:19 PM
Stubby, Is it too much effort to put a little {.pdf} or some kind of notice in the title?
yeesh!
 
2008-08-29 05:52:54 PM
ZAZ: I'd believe seasonal equipment bias more than neutrinos.

Me too. It appears that the authors are more keen on the Sun theory based on one incident where the rapid change in the delay rate coincided with a solar flare on December 13, 2006 (though then the neutrino theory is out).
 
2008-08-29 05:55:40 PM
I want to know what sort of computer set up all these people are running that a simple link to a .PDF file causes such outrage.
 
2008-08-29 05:57:11 PM
weiserfireman: If it can be shown to effect the decay rate of atomic clocks on a day to day rate, that would be interesting to think that "time" isn't static (at least the way we currently measure it).

Atomic clocks don't use the decay of nuclei as their standard of measurement. They actually use electron transitions, or how the electrons surrounding the atom jump up and down between energy states. The difference between "atomic" and "nuclear" is a nuance often overlooked.
 
2008-08-29 06:00:26 PM
SOOOooooooooo...

Does this mean we can't use Carbon 14 dating as a back-up, since it relies on CARBON, which is EVIL, and makes the earth hot, like the sun, which is messing up our Radiometric methods in the first place????

LIFE SUCKS!!!
(I've always been partial to the Potassium to Argon method. It just has a blue-collar feel to it.)
 
2008-08-29 06:00:42 PM
If you don't want to read the pdf file, read its summary here.

If you browse there, you'll find some topical issue about aluminum atomic clock, too. How timely.
 
2008-08-29 06:02:13 PM
Jodeo: Does this mean we can't use Carbon 14 dating as a back-up, since it relies on CARBON, which is EVIL, and makes the earth hot, like the sun, which is messing up our Radiometric methods in the first place????

Perhaps not, as long as the rate merely goes up and down cyclically.
 
2008-08-29 06:08:34 PM
that is one hell of a red herring
 
2008-08-29 06:18:16 PM
Tr0mBoNe: Does this imply a sufficiently strong gravitational field could stop radioactive decay?

Well... Relativity already does that. The stronger the gravity, the slower time moves relative to an outside observer. Net effect in this case: radioactive nuclei have longer half-lives the deeper they go in a gravity well (relative to an observer outside the well).

For extra fun, take into consideration that gravity and acceleration are indistinguishable according to Relativity. Particle accelerators take advantage of this with highly unstable nuclei by accelerating them to near light-speed -- it often brings their half-lives up to something much more easily measurable than picoseconds (relative to the observer who is stationary relative to the particle).

This... "time:" it's personal.

/Seriously. Everything has its own personal measure of time.
//It's just that the differences are usually far too small to notice.
 
2008-08-29 06:28:16 PM
TheOmni I want to know what sort of computer set up all these people are running that a simple link to a .PDF file causes such outrage.

You want to know? Well, I know and I ain't gonna tell ya.
 
2008-08-29 06:34:52 PM
Radioactive decay is influenced, even governed by the local space/time
They've only scratched the surface on this one....
if radioactive decay is influenced, so are chemical reactions,
& just about all of our scientific measurements and math....


Next:
Carbon 14
Myth Busted!
 
2008-08-29 06:34:59 PM
mypalmike

Correlation does not imply causation!

Correlation may very well imply causation. What it doesn't do is prove causation.
 
2008-08-29 06:39:30 PM
How long before some "Young Earth" person shouts "See I told you science is flawed!!!!111one!!!"
 
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