[ RadSafe ] The strange case of solar flares and radioactiveelements

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Mon May 2 18:24:49 CDT 2011

Interesting, though I wouldn't toss out my old half-life tables, yet.  I
don't doubt the researchers are dudes whose lab coats I am barely fit to
hold (and I mean that without irony), but I would want to do a lot of
testing, simultaneously in a lot of places with identical equipment,
before I concluded that the effect was real.   

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Roger Helbig
Sent: Monday, May 02, 2011 3:56 PM
To: 'The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing
Subject: [ RadSafe ] The strange case of solar flares and


This interesting report popped up on the Geiger Counter enthusiasts
Does anyone know if there has been any other research into this
that decay rates are affected by solar flares?

The article begins as follows

The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements
When researchers found an unusual linkage between solar flares and the
life of radioactive elements on Earth, it touched off a scientific
investigation that could end up protecting the lives of space-walking
astronauts and maybe rewriting some of the assumptions of physics.
It's a mystery that presented itself unexpectedly: The radioactive decay
some elements sitting quietly in laboratories on Earth seemed to be
influenced by activities inside the sun, 93 million miles away.
Is this possible?
Researchers from Stanford and Purdue University believe it is. But their
explanation of how it happens opens the door to yet another mystery.
There is even an outside chance that this unexpected effect is brought
by a previously unknown particle emitted by the sun. "That would be
remarkable," said Peter Sturrock, Stanford professor emeritus of applied
physics and an expert on the inner workings of the sun.
The story begins, in a sense, in classrooms around the world, where
are taught that the rate of decay of a specific radioactive material is
constant. This concept is relied upon, for example, when anthropologists
carbon-14 to date ancient artifacts and when doctors determine the
dose of radioactivity to treat a cancer patient.

Roger Helbig

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