# Calculating Proton Decay in a Swimming Pool

• w3390
In summary, the conversation discusses the prediction of the proton's lifetime in grand unification theories and how current experiments infer this lifetime to be at least 10^32 years. The question then asks to estimate the expected time between proton decays in an Olympic-size swimming pool, taking into account the volume of the pool and basic radioactive decay laws.
w3390

## Homework Statement

Grand unification theories predict that the proton has a long but finite lifetime. Current experiments based on detecting the decay of protons in water infer that this lifetime is at least 10^32 years. Assume 10^32 years is, in fact, the mean lifetime of the proton. Estimate the expected time between proton decays that occur in the water of a filled Olympic-size swimming pool. An Olympic-size swimming pool is 100m x 25m x 2.0m.

not sure

## The Attempt at a Solution

I am not really sure what the question is asking. Clearly the volume of the pool matters, otherwise it probably wouldn't be given, but I don't know where to start. Can anybody offer an explanation as to where I should start. Any help would be much appreciated.

The volume of the water will tell you how much water there is (M=pV, and you know the density of water), from there you can tell how many molecules of water there are and therefore how many protons there are. Then you can tell how many protons decay per second using basic radioactive decay laws.

## What is proton decay?

Proton decay is a hypothetical process in which a proton, one of the building blocks of an atom, breaks down into smaller particles. This process has not been observed in nature, but is predicted by some theories in physics.

## How can proton decay be calculated in a swimming pool?

In order to calculate the rate of proton decay in a swimming pool, we would need to know the number of protons in the pool, the volume of the pool, and the amount of time the protons have been present. We would also need to consider the effects of any other particles present in the pool that could potentially interact with the protons.

## What factors affect the rate of proton decay in a swimming pool?

The rate of proton decay in a swimming pool can be affected by a variety of factors, including the concentration of protons, the temperature and pressure of the water, and the presence of other particles that could potentially interact with the protons.

## Is proton decay harmful in a swimming pool?

Proton decay is a theoretical process and has not been observed in nature. Therefore, it is not considered to be harmful in a swimming pool. Even if it were to occur, the rate of proton decay is extremely slow and would not pose a danger to humans or the environment.

## What are the potential implications of detecting proton decay in a swimming pool?

If proton decay were to be detected in a swimming pool, it would have major implications for our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics. It could also lead to advancements in technology and potentially have practical applications in fields such as energy production and space exploration.

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