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I Radioactive decay caused by WIMPS?

  1. Apr 7, 2018 #1
    I read from various sources that Non-baryonic matter (primarily WIMPs) is the best candidate to explain a number of cosmological phenomena.
    Why would the phenomenon of radioactive decay not be attributed to these abundant (over 1/4 of the mass-energy of the universe) particles? I'm not trying to undermine the Uncertainty Principle, which I'm confident would remain intact given that no properties of a given WIMP are known prior to its hypothetical interaction with a radioisotope. Is a WIMP's causal influence not discussed in accordance with Ockham's razor? Have I answered my own question or is there a way to rule out WIMPs as a component involved in the decay process?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2018 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Radioactive decay is already understood without invoking WIMPs.
  4. Apr 7, 2018 #3
  5. Apr 7, 2018 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    A. That paper is not about WIMPs.
    B. That paper is not correct.
  6. Apr 8, 2018 #5
    Thanks for your reply.
    A. Are you saying neutrinos are not weakly interactive or not massive or both? I think what you're saying is that neutrinos are not the WIMPs expected to be responsible for the cosmological scale phenomena I mentioned in the first post, yes?
    B. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen a paper where the conclusions were shown to be erroneous, https://phys.org/news/2014-10-textbook-knowledge-reconfirmed-radioactive-substances.html My bad. My point was to show that there is active research into radioactive isotopes.
    So when you say radioactive decay is 'understood', you could point me to a theory that, for example, reasonably predicts that carbon-14 has a half life of 5740 years?

    The reason I brought this up is because of a recent paper that asserts the discovery of a galaxy, NGC1052-DF2, without dark matter, http://physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com/2018/03/a-galaxy-without-dark-matter.html . (link to paper)
    Of the numerous radioactive decay chains, I wondering which of these would result in a spectroscopic signature detectable here on earth (from DF2)?
    I thought it might be a way to show that dark matter might not be so dark if there is a correlation between its presence and rates of decay.
  7. Apr 8, 2018 #6
    A few years ago, this paper got some press, as having explained qualitatively how the lifetime of carbon-14 could be so long. They employ a theory of pion-nucleon interaction called chiral perturbation theory.

    As Vanadium-50 could tell you in much more detail than me, nuclear physics is an enormous patchwork of models and measurements. The general expectation is that all of these quantities should ultimately be implied just by the standard model of particle physics, though this is far from having been demonstrated completely. It is logically possible that some measured nuclear quantities (decay rates, etc) do include contributions from beyond-standard-model physics, but perhaps not very likely.
  8. Apr 8, 2018 #7
    Thanks Mitchell,

    I will have to re-read it. Probably more than once. I admit I didn't know that such calculations were possible and was suitably impressed when the researchers state that, "The number of non-vanishing matrix elements exceeded the total memory available..." on their Jaguar Supercomputer.

    Thanks again.
  9. Apr 8, 2018 #8

    Vanadium 50

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    C-14 is a very complex nucleus, as is N-14. Their energy levels do not align, and that makes the complication hard, not because the physics is not understood, but because it is complicated. We understand Newton's Laws perfectly, but we cannot predict exactly what will get bent or broken in an automobile collision.

    Your point on DF2 piles speculation on top of speculation.

    The answer to your original question is:
    • Dark Matter is not needed to explain any aspect of nuclear decay.
    • Dark Matter does not help explain any aspect of Nuclear decay.
    • Therefore the answer is no.

    I'm done here.
  10. Apr 9, 2018 #9
    That was my last, best idea to try and detect WIMPs. I'm done too.
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