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Radioactive decay.

Radioactive decay. - Physics Forum

Radioactive decay. - Physics Forum. Discuss and ask physics questions, kinematics and other physics problems.


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  #1  
Old 03-06-2005, 10:09 PM
Hugo
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Default Radioactive decay.



A point of clarification from serious physicists please. Could rates of
radioactive decay be affected in any way by the speed of light (radioactive
particles) being slowed down when not in a vacuum, or from empirical and
analytical evidence is there a high probability that all radioactive
isotopes are only subject to the normal half life rule and the rates of
decay empirically determined for each isotope ?

Hugo Pollak

P.S. Note that I have not used the word 'belief' in this question. And I
defy anyone to work out my 'agenda'.


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  #2  
Old 03-06-2005, 10:15 PM
N:dlzc D:aol T:com \(dlzc\)
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Default Radioactive decay.

Dear Hugo:

"Hugo" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:hcLWd.925$[Only registered users see links. ].net...

There is no verifiable "drift" in atomic halflives. There is no
correlation between physical parameters and halflife... other
than time.

David A. Smith


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  #3  
Old 03-07-2005, 12:42 AM
tadchem
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Default Radioactive decay.


"Hugo" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:hcLWd.925$[Only registered users see links. ].net...
(radioactive

The processes involved in the radioactive decay of unstable isotopes are
completely confined to the nucleus of the atom in question, as are the
conditions that influence those processes.

It requires tools that are capable of altering the environment *within* the
atomic nucleus in subtle and controllable ways to alter those rates of
radioactive decay.

Such tools include neutrinos, neutrons, and gamma rays - all neutral
particles. Charged particles are generally unable to penetrate the electron
shells to reach the nucleus.

Perhaps some day we will be able to stimulate coherent emission of decay
radiations in a manner analogous to lazing. Until then radioactive decay is
pretty much either a purely stochastic process or the result of fission
chain reactions.


Tom Davidson
Richmond, VA


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  #4  
Old 03-07-2005, 07:30 AM
Hugo
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Default Radioactive decay.


"Hugo" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:hcLWd.925$[Only registered users see links. ].net...
(radioactive

Thanks to Tom Davidson and David Smith for your helpful replies.

My main interest is actually in history. My first Degree was in economic
history, and that lead me to take an interest in the history of technology.
More recently, I have been getting into natural history, in which I include
for instance astronomy and geology. I now intend to do a course on
'evolution' (I think there is a Darwinian pattern in all forms of history).
I have recently retired, so have more time for these things. My main agenda
in the 'physics' questions has been assurance that some of the scientific
foundations of my Open University studies are sound. A subsidiary agenda is
just knowledge/understanding for its own sake. Most of the replies I have
had have been helpful in both respects.

I shall now get into the book I have on parallel universes etc. That was
one area I didn't get much comment, so no doubt in a few weeks I shall come
back with some more questions. I think 'light' has had a sufficient airing
for now. On 'work', I totally agree that knowledge must stem from work, but
all of us can only do so much work and have so much knowledge, so 'maths' is
not on my immediate agenda, but one day I do intend to get into it again,
before I have too many grey hairs.

Hugo Pollak



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  #5  
Old 03-07-2005, 09:31 AM
tadchem
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Default Radioactive decay.


"Hugo" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:OqTWd.26$[Only registered users see links. ].net...

<snip>

history).
agenda
is

In biology, 'history' is recorded in an individual animal's DNA, and cannot
be ignored. In the empirical sciences 'history' is collected in the mass of
experiemental data which contradicts erroneous theories. 'History' is the
'social sciences' and liberal arts is poorly taught (if at all) and thus
widely ignored and often repeated.


Tom Davidson
Richmond, VA


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  #6  
Old 03-07-2005, 12:25 PM
Hugo
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Default Radioactive decay.


"tadchem" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:[Only registered users see links. ]...
scientific
agenda
have
cannot
of


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  #7  
Old 03-07-2005, 12:29 PM
Hugo
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Default Radioactive decay.


"tadchem" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:[Only registered users see links. ]...
scientific
agenda
have
cannot
of
science and scientific approaches. I am also interested in statistical
information, but of course all such has to carry a label 'handle with care'.


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  #8  
Old 03-07-2005, 02:33 PM
tadchem
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Default Radioactive decay.


Hugo wrote:

<snip repost>


Is your interest restricted to physics? If not you may also be
interested in

care'.

What kind of 'statistical' information?

Half-lives are themselves statistical in nature:
[Only registered users see links. ]
a half-life is the *average* time it takes half the nuclei in a sample
to decay. The statistics of binomials tells us that in a sample of
10^N units, the uncertainty in the average [Probable Error of the Mean]
of sorting them into two groups (as in measuring the average time it
takes for the number of decayed nuclei to equal the number of undecayed
nuclei) is about 10^(N/2).

You don't need a very large sample to get a precision of one
part-per-million.

I agree, though, that statistical information can be easily mishandled
by the uninformed and the statistically naive.

Tom Davidson
Richmond, VA

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  #9  
Old 03-07-2005, 02:46 PM
Hugo
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Default Radioactive decay.

Any ! I just have a fascination for numbers. I did do maths. to 'A' level,
and stats. at uni as part of the economics course. Stats. do of course come
into economic history a lot, for instance I used them a lot in a
dissertation I once did on British Economic History in the 1930s. I also
follow Third World Stats. to see how different countries are progressing,
for instance on aspects of nutrition and access to clean water. I use them
with playing golf too !

Hugo Pollak



"tadchem" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:1110206033.073642.66350@z14g2000cwz.googlegro ups.com...


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