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Compton Effect and Transmutation

  1. Feb 8, 2005 #1
    Suppose you have some thin film of pure carbon graphite sitting on some metal, like iron. Now we start irradiating some EM energy on it the graphite, but at a specific frequency.

    Is it possible to select a frequency, and potentially some sort of spread/interference pattern to the EM energy, that acts to 'slow down' electrons of the carbon atoms instead of knocking them out such that the nucleus of the cabon atoms take in the electron? If not graphite, perhaps carbons in a gaseous state?

    Also assume you had at your disposal electric and magnetic fields to try and align the nuclii and electrons so that their H fields were pointing n the same direction. I basically want to know if its possible to absorb some of the electrons' kinetic energy enough for the nucleus to take in the electron(s) and transmutate into radioactive boron?

    If so, imagine what would happen when the boron decayed!

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2005 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    No, not really. The electrons in an atom are bound with energies in the visible (most first ionization potentials are in the low ev range) to X-ray (e.g. K and L shells).

    The electrons in an atom have specific energy states, so they do not 'slow' down by interaction with a photon (EM).

    Some radionuclei undergo electron capture, whereby a proton in the nucleus absorbs one of the orbital (n=1) electrons with the emission of an anti-neutrino [itex]\bar{\nu}_e[/itex].

    The interaction of an electron with the nucleus may be possible, but more likely the electron will interact with one of the atomic electrons. Electron-nuclear scattering has been used by Hofstadter to 'look' at the nuclear structure. I am not sure if one could cause the reaction e- + 12C --> 12B + [itex]\bar\nu_e[/itex].

    12B decays by [itex]\beta^-[/itex] emission.
  4. Feb 9, 2005 #3


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    There are in the literature some experiments trying to alter the decay rate of nuclei by using methods in the chemical energy range. I believe the reported record is about a 12% variation, which is unimportant even if true.
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