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Time Dilation's Effect on Radioactive Decay

by Sothh
Tags: decay, dilation, effect, radioactive, time
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Sothh
#1
Jun18-11, 06:14 PM
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Does time dilation effect radioactive decay?

For example, if I speed a radioactive atom up to near light speeds, will its decay slow?

If so, could this be used to study atoms with a very short decay time?
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Doc Al
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Jun18-11, 06:20 PM
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Quote Quote by Sothh View Post
Does time dilation effect radioactive decay?
It affects all physical processes.

For example, if I speed a radioactive atom up to near light speeds, will its decay slow?
Sure.
Sothh
#3
Jun18-11, 06:23 PM
P: 11
Does temperature effect time dilation? Since a "hot" atom will be moving more then a "cold" atom, with the speed difference change the decay of the atom?

bcrowell
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Jun18-11, 06:29 PM
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Time Dilation's Effect on Radioactive Decay

A classic example of the original question is cosmic-ray muons, which would be unlikely to reach the earth's surface except for time dilation. An accelerator version: http://www.lightandmatter.com/html_b...ch02/ch02.html , Example 6: Large time dilation

Quote Quote by Sothh View Post
Does temperature effect time dilation? Since a "hot" atom will be moving more then a "cold" atom, with the speed difference change the decay of the atom?
Yes. The effect is extremely small at ordinary temperatures, but for example it's big enough to make the Mossbauer effect impossible to observe in gases:

http://www.lightandmatter.com/html_b...tml#Section1.5 , 1.5.6 The Pound-Rebka experiment

-Ben
Sothh
#5
Jun18-11, 06:32 PM
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Thanks. That clears a lot up.

Everywhere else I have looked states that temperature does not effect radioactive decay.
bcrowell
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Jun18-11, 07:24 PM
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Quote Quote by Sothh View Post
Thanks. That clears a lot up.

Everywhere else I have looked states that temperature does not effect radioactive decay.
The effect is extremely small, so that statement is an excellent approximation.


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