radioactive decay rates

12 Oct 2014

At face value this new paper at Astroparticle Physics 55 (2014) seems to be a case of circling the wagons, a sort of confirmation of the consensus view. Readers may like to make up their own minds by going to the press release - see http://phys.org/print332147644.html

Researchers have refuted the assumption that the decay  of some radioactive nuclides depends on the distance between the Earth and the Sun. They say the distance has no influence on the decay rate - as it is well known that the decay rate of radionuclides is as reliable as a Swiss clock. Some US scientists recently claimed in a published paper the decay rate depends on the flow of solar neutrinos - and the distance from the Sun. The new study says they based their findings on old data retrieval systems - technology that was not as advanced as the technology they used. Needless to say the new data from the new technology is said to refute the claims of variance in decay rates. It is the bit that impinges on dating in the C14 carbon isotope and its half life that interests most people.

The US team used gas detectors but the new study used TDCR liquid scintillation methodology - which is said to iron out measurement issues. It seems that by ironing them out those oddities have been disappeared, eradicating the US variations. In other words they are saying sensitive monitoring equipment, as used by the US team, was in some ways faulty - but are they?