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Radioactive decay

  1. Oct 10, 2015 #1


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    Hi guys, in my plot I have an unstable isotope of an alien element and I was wondering wouldn't it be nice if most of the particles generated from the decaying are entangled, how do you think, does it sound silly and totally impossible? If it is a good idea, then how such a property can be used by scientists? I was thinking about something like faster than light data transfer systems or something like that...
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 10, 2015 #2


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    Entangled particles do not allow faster than light data transfers. That is a common misconception. You can say that it does if you like in a sci-fic story but do not make the mistake of thinking you are writing "hard science" when in fact you would be writing non-science.
  4. Oct 11, 2015 #3


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    Ok, let's forget about the FTL data transfer, I searched google, but I couldn't find how much of the particles emitted from the radioactive elements are actually entangled - 1%, 10%... 100%? And if 100% of the particles are pairs what benefits scientists could have from such a property?
  5. Oct 11, 2015 #4
    I've been told that just about every particle is entangled with every other. As you might think, this is such a mess that it is hard to imagine any use for it.

    It is generally believed that entanglement is not useful for transmitting information. It's by nature a random pattern. So you're on your own with that.
  6. Oct 11, 2015 #5


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    Well assuming the physics elsewhere in our universe is the same as it is locally, then there are no new elements and the radioactive particles are limited to alpha (for some nuclides heavier than bismuth, Z = 83), beta or gamma. The particles emitted then proceed through local matter, which becomes transiently ionized or excited, then the particles slow down and stop. Alpha particles become He, and beta particles simply settle into an atom. Gammas will scatter down to lower energy photons, or if at high enough energy (> ~ 1.02 MeV), could induce a nuclear reaction.

    Of course, in science fiction, one can suspend reality and modify or rewrite the laws of physics, especially if the story takes place in a different universe.
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