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Chemical influence on atomic decays.

  1. Jun 13, 2005 #1


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    Interesting paper:

    Enhancement Mechanisms of Low Energy Nuclear
    Gareev F.A., Zhidkova I.E.
    1. Nuclear processes have characteristic energies ≈ 1 MeV, whereas chemistry has a few eV per atom, molecules have a part of eV. The inner atomic shells are bound with many keV in the medium and heavy elements.

    2.The localization of electrons in atoms is ≈ [tex]10^{-8}[/tex] cm, whereas the localization of nucleons in nuclei is ≈ [tex]10^{-13}[/tex] cm.

    Therefore, the nucleus should be unaffected by superficial atomic changes: nuclear processes should not be influenced by the surroundings. The constancy of nuclear decay rates was firmly established, confirming evidences from experimental studies of [tex]\alpha[/tex]- and [tex]\beta[/tex]-decays and theoretical estimations.

    The constancy of nuclear decay rates acquired the strength as a classical law. Any papers contradicting this law were ignored by all the scientific journals as erroneous ones.

    The history of science has own laws. The ground of the [tex]\beta[/tex]-decay of nuclei was given by E. Fermi in 1934 year. It was very easy to prove that certain processes of radioactive decay should be intimately connected with the presence of atomic electrons and may be affected by the changes in the electronic structure produced by chemical compounds. It took 13 years to understand this very simple phenomenon. The possibility of altering the decay rate of Be7 was suggested in 1947 by Segre [8] and by Dodel [9, 10]. In the case of electron- capture decays the decay rate is directly related to the density of atomic electrons in the nucleus and the effects of different chemical environments should be measurable.

    Any comments?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2005 #2

    Meir Achuz

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    You write as if this is a radical idea. It has been clear from almost the start (well, 1947) that electron capture rates depend on the electron's atomic wave function. Why would anyone doubt that altering atomic wave functons woudn't affect capture? Are you or the authors referring to other decay processes?
  4. Jun 13, 2005 #3


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    CarlB is just quoting from the introduction, not speaking for himself so "You write as if" is not really appropo. The article itself goes on to suggest that chemical impacts on nuclear decay rates could provide a gateway to Cold Fusion, and that this line of research has by systemically suppressed by the bias within the physics community against chemical interactions impacting decay rates.

    The real question is whether a modest chemical impact on decay rates is enough to get you to Cold Fusion. I'm inclined to think that it is many orders of magnitude insufficient, but that chemical impacts might be useful in catalyzing ordinary nuclear reactions.
  5. Jun 13, 2005 #4


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    I supposse the authors are asking for beta and alpha decay too. The case for electron capture is explicitly named in page 2 of the article, including the year 1947 article of Segre.
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