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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > May > May 23

Is The Sun Emitting A Mystery Particle?

From: Dave Haith <visions1.nul>
Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 08:13:05 +0100
Archived: Mon, 23 May 2011 07:04:21 -0400
Subject: Is The Sun Emitting A Mystery Particle?


Source: Discovery.Com


Wed Aug 25, 2010

Is The Sun Emitting A Mystery Particle?

When probing the deepest reaches of the Cosmos or magnifying our
understanding of the quantum world, a whole host of mysteries
present themselves. This is to be expected when pushing our
knowledge of the Universe to the limit.

But what if a well-known - and apparently constant -
characteristic of matter starts behaving mysteriously?

This is exactly what has been noticed in recent years; the decay
rates of radioactive elements are changing. This is especially
mysterious as we are talking about elements with "constant"
decay rates - these valuesaren't supposed to change. School
textbooks teach us this from an early age.

This is the conclusion that researchers from Stanford and Purdue
University have arrived at, but the only explanation they have
is even weirder than the phenomenon itself: The sun might be
emitting a previously unknown particle that is meddling with the
decay rates of matter. Or, at the very least, we are seeing some
new physics.

Many fields of science depend on measuring constant decay rates.
For example, to accurately date ancient artifacts,
archaeologists measure the quantity of carbon-14 found inside
organic samples at dig sites. This is a technique known as
carbon dating.

Carbon-14 has a very defined half-life of 5730 years; i.e. it
takes 5,730 years for half of a sample of carbon-14 to
radioactively decay into stable nitrogen-14.
Throughspectroscopic analysis of the ancient organic sample, by
finding out what proportion of carbon-14 remains, we can
accurately calculate how old it is.

But as you can see, carbon dating makes one huge assumption:
radioactive decay rates remain constant and always have been
constant. If this new finding is proven to be correct, even if
the impact is small, it will throw the science community into a

Interestingly, researchers at Purdue first noticed something
awry when they were using radioactive samples for random number
generation. Each decay event occurs randomly (hence the white
noise you'd hear from a Geiger counter), so radioactive samples
provide a non-biased random number generator.

However, when they compared their measurements with other
scientists' work, the values of the published decay rates were
not the same. In fact, after further research they found that
not only were they not constant, but they'd vary with the
seasons. Decay rates would slightly decrease during the summer
and increase during the winter.

SLIDE SHOW: Seeing the Sun in a New Light, The First Solar
Dynamics Observatory Images

Experimental error and environmental conditions have all been
ruled out -  the decay rates are changing throughout the year in
a predictable pattern. And there seems to be only one answer.

As the Earth is closer to the sun during the winter months in
the Northern Hemisphere (our planet's orbit is slightly
eccentric, or elongated), could the sun be influencing decay

In another moment of weirdness, Purdue nuclear engineer Jere
Jenkins noticed an inexplicable drop in the decay rate of
manganese-54 when he was testing it one night in 2006. It so
happened that this drop occurred just over a day before a large
flare erupted on the sun.

Did the sun somehow communicate with the manganese-54 sample? If
it did, something from the sun would have had to travel through
the Earth (as the sample was on the far side of our planet from
the sun at the time) unhindered.

The sun link was made even stronger when Peter Sturrock,
Stanford professor emeritus of applied physics, suggested that
the Purdue scientists look for other recurring patterns in decay
rates. As an expert of the inner workings of the sun, Sturrock
had a hunch that solar neutrinos might hold the key to this

Sure enough, the researchers noticed the decay rates vary
repeatedly every 33 days - a period of time that matches the
rotational period of the core of the sun. The solar core is the
source of solar neutrinos.

It may all sound rather circumstantial, but these threads of
evidence appear to lead to a common source of the radioactive
decay rate variation. But there's a huge problem with
speculation that solar neutrinos could impact decay rates on
Earth: neutrinos aren't supposed to work like that.

Neutrinos, born from the nuclear processes in the core of the
sun, are ghostly particles. They can literally pass through the
Earth unhindered as they so weakly interact. How could such a
quantum welterweight have any measurable impact on radioactive
samples in the lab?

In short, nobody knows.

If neutrinos are the culprits, it means we are falling terribly
short of understanding the true nature of these subatomic
particles. But if (and this is a big if) neutrinos aren't to
blame, is the sun generating an as-yet-to-be- discovered

If either case is true, we'll have to go back and re-write those

Source: Stanford University


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