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I Nuclear decay stimulation

  1. Nov 6, 2016 #1
    Is it theoretically possible to stimulate a radioactive nucleus so that it decays on demand instead of randomly?Could this be used to accelerate decay of dangerous fission by-products?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2016 #2

    mfb

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    No.

    There are few exceptions: some nuclei can decay only if they don't have electrons around them (e. g. dysprosium-163) or do so much faster (e. g. Rhenium-187), and some need electrons around them to decay (e. g. rubidium-83), but those are rare exceptions, and none of them is relevant for nuclear waste.

    Transmutation is a working method to get rid of some of the waste, but that is not based on the radioactive decay of the waste.
     
  4. Jan 15, 2017 #3
    Your answer is 'no'. Is there some proof of this answer? Empirically, has everything been tried? It would actually be impossible to try everything.
     
  5. Jan 15, 2017 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    That's not what he said. There are exceptions.
     
  6. Jan 15, 2017 #5

    OmCheeto

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    Fascinating question. I've wondered the same thing myself.
    Thank you for asking.
     
  7. Jan 15, 2017 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    The easiest to understand exception is nuclei that decay via electron capture. Take away the electrons, and the decay stops. Put them back, and it speeds up again.
     
  8. Jan 15, 2017 #7
    As an aside.we are seeing in this discussion,
    Thank you.discountbrain says we can't try everything.I agree,however if I knew exactly how,I would like to try introducing entangled particles into the radioactive atom.Could a state change at this point initiate a change in the atom's state?Trying the right things might be very informative.Visualizing the future of the entangled system has been mentioned recently in the literature.
     
  9. Jan 15, 2017 #8

    mfb

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    No. And this has nothing to do with entanglement.
     
  10. Jan 15, 2017 #9
    50v, he did answer 'no'. Clearly, we all know why it would be wonderful to discover how to speed up decay in nuclear waste.
     
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