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Author Topic:   Solar flares affect radiometric decay rates?
kbertsche
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Posts: 1359
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007
Member Rating: 5.8


Message 16 of 67 (677895)
11-02-2012 11:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Minnemooseus
09-05-2012 1:00 AM


I'd be very cautious about the claims of Sturrock and Fischbach.
1) these guys are "fringe" scientists whom some would label "crackpots"
2) they did not do any of these experiments themselves, but are re-analyzing the data of others. Hence, they may be missing crucial details in how the experiments were set up.
3) others have re-analyzed the same data and claimed that the signals these guys see are not there
4) one of the main signals that these guys see is an annual variation. Annual variations can have any number of alternative explanations.

My bet is that they are not seeing true variations in the decay rate at all. I'd bet on an instrumentation problem, where the decay measurement has a slight temperature or humidity dependence, giving rise to a false annual signal.


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


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Taq
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Posts: 6461
Joined: 03-06-2009
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Message 17 of 67 (677903)
11-02-2012 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by kbertsche
11-02-2012 11:49 AM


My bet is that they are not seeing true variations in the decay rate at all. I'd bet on an instrumentation problem, where the decay measurement has a slight temperature or humidity dependence, giving rise to a false annual signal.

That is certainly something that needs to be addressed before any claims are made. The recent fasther-than-light neutrino observation falls under this as well. If this is a real observation then it should be turned over to the scientific community for further scrunity, especially the error introduced by the instrumentation itself.


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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15930
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Message 18 of 67 (677913)
11-02-2012 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by kbertsche
11-02-2012 11:49 AM


I'd bet on an instrumentation problem ...

That's what I was wondering.

4) one of the main signals that these guys see is an annual variation. Annual variations can have any number of alternative explanations.

Yes. I read a story (which I would be grateful if anyone could track down for me, I've tried and failed) about a group of scientists in, I think, Germany, who thought they'd found an annual variation in the gravitational constant.

It turned out their university had a large coal cellar which was filled up at the start of every winter ...


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NoNukes
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Posts: 9557
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
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Message 19 of 67 (709912)
10-30-2013 10:52 PM


Solar Flares and decay rates
PurpleYouko writes:

The Purdue team observed a drop in the decay rate a day and a half before a solar flare.

This has since been reproduced by dozens of labs around the world and it is pretty well accepted that it does indeed happen.

Citation please...

I cannot find any reports from dozens of labs, or even a single lab other than the original suspects verifying this phenomenon. The only papers I can locate using google scholar were written by Jenkins and/or Fischbach. Searching the web is useless for the obvious reasons.

Where is the data from a place other than Purdue or Stanford?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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 Message 23 by PurpleYouko, posted 10-31-2013 12:01 PM NoNukes has responded

    
Adminnemooseus
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Message 20 of 67 (709917)
10-30-2013 11:19 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by NoNukes
10-30-2013 10:52 PM


Administrative Note
The theme of this topic had become a major off-topic diversion at the "Which animals would populate the earth if the ark was real?" topic. I closed the "Which" topic a bit earlier, and suggested that that discussion go to this topic.

Anyway, much good discussion relating to this topics theme can be found at the end portion of the "Which" topic, which ended (unless Admin reopens it ) here.

Please link back to the appropriate message(s) of the "Which" topic, if you are replying to content there.

Adminnemooseus

ps - Replying to NoNukes message as it is the rebirth of this topic.


Or something like that.

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greentwiga
Member (Idle past 842 days)
Posts: 213
From: Santa
Joined: 06-05-2009


(1)
Message 21 of 67 (709925)
10-31-2013 2:18 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by NoNukes
10-30-2013 10:52 PM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates
This reminds me of when my boss set me to look at why certain counts varied so much. I thought it was electrical variation, but he thought it was heat. Turned out he was right. I then looked at how we were measuring the counts. They were distributed over a narrow range in a bell curve. Someone had set the gate so one side was on the top of the curve. Heat shifted the distribution slightly and this setup was sensitive to slight shifts. When I widened the gate to include all of the curve (to 3 sigma), the variation disappeared. When people are looking at effects that are close to the 2 or 3 sigma limit, all sorts of crazy but meaningless variations can occur. Then people publish papers on cold fusion, etc.
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PurpleYouko
Member (Idle past 34 days)
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 22 of 67 (709961)
10-31-2013 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by greentwiga
10-31-2013 2:18 AM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates
When I first read of this i thought it was crap too. Just another set of bogus data reported in some half assed newspaper article.
But after doing a little more research I began to realize that the effect has been reproduced and very well documented in many well respected labs around the world.
It is largely accepted as a proven fact that this effect actually does happen.

If you haven't read about it yourself, this is as good a place as any to start http://www.sciencedaily.com/...ases/2012/08/120813155718.htm
Yes I know it isn't a scientific journal but it does contain a lot of relevant information

quote:
Researchers have recorded data during 10 solar flares since 2006, seeing the same pattern.

"We have repeatedly seen a precursor signal preceding a solar flare," Fischbach said. "We think this has predictive value."

The Purdue experimental setup consists of a radioactive source -- manganese 54 -- and a gamma-radiation detector. As the manganese 54 decays, it turns into chromium 54, emitting a gamma ray, which is recorded by the detector to measure the decay rate.

Purdue has filed a U.S. patent application for the concept.



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PurpleYouko
Member (Idle past 34 days)
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 23 of 67 (709977)
10-31-2013 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by NoNukes
10-30-2013 10:52 PM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates
Citation please...

I cannot find any reports from dozens of labs, or even a single lab other than the original suspects verifying this phenomenon. The only papers I can locate using google scholar were written by Jenkins and/or Fischbach. Searching the web is useless for the obvious reasons.

Where is the data from a place other than Purdue or Stanford?

There doesn't seem to be a lot of research by other labs so far but here a few that I uncovered.
I did find one paper from the University of Berkeley in which they publish evidence against it
http://donuts.berkeley.edu/papers/EarthSun.pdf

The effect was reported in the news pages at the Stanford university web site and Purdue University website (as you are probably well aware) but I don't have access to the string of papers that were apparently published a few years back.
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/august/sun-082310.html
http://www.purdue.edu/...2010/100830FischbachJenkinsDec.html

A paper entitled "Additional experimental evidence for a solar influence on nu
clear decay rates" was published in 2012
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1207.5783v1.pdf
In this paper, data from 3 different sources were compared. BNL, PTB and the original data from Purdue

quote:
data were analyzed from half-life measurements taken by two independent groups, one at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, New York, USA, and the other at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig, Germany.

The paper also introduces a fourth set of data from The Ohio State University Research reactor

quote:
The purpose of this article is to present 36Cl decay data collected at The Ohio State University Research Reactor (OS-URR), in Columbus, Ohio, USA, over the course of 7 years, which further strengthen the case for a solar influence on some nuclear decays.

Jenkins also collaborated with the GSI (Geological Survey of Israel) to publish this paperhttp://arxiv.org/pdf/1205.0205v1.pdf

Ok so it isn't "dozens" of labs. If i said that then I withdraw the comment.
In about a half hour of simply searching the web I have managed to uncover enough peer reviewed papers to include research teams at Purdue, Stanford, BNL(New York), PTB (Germany), GSI (Israel) and Ohio State.

That's 6 independent sets of data corroborating the possible effect and one attempting to debunk it.
I'm done searching for more data on this for now since I have other things to do.

One thing I would like to note here is that the data that that Berkeley used in their rebuttal was collected only once per day over the period. This is arguably not a good enough time resolution to see the effect accurately. I'm not saying they did it wrong, just that in the Ohio state paper they specifically noted that their data was collected over a four hour period each day.

quote:
The 54Mn data were being collected as part of a half-life measurement
utilizing continuous four-hour measurements. This allowed a time resolution capable of seeing changes that could have been caused by a solar flare, which typically lasts minutes to hours.

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NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9557
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 24 of 67 (710001)
10-31-2013 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by PurpleYouko
10-31-2013 12:01 PM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates
That's 6 independent sets of data corroborating the possible effect and one attempting to debunk it

That's fine. I think the debunking paper was pretty good, but since they did not look at the same isotopes, I do discount it a bit. Of course none of the studies are looking at nuclides that are used in radiometric dating.

But:

In particular what I was looking for was not just verifications of the effect, but verifications that you could actually predict solar flares using the effect. Those are the results you said were repeated by many labs so that the concept of predicting storms with radioactivity increases or decreases was pretty well accepted. I don't believe that statement to be correct.

I am looking for support for the argument that the sun emits something that causes decay rates to decrease as opposed to :

1) the sun emits mystery X that causes decay rates to increase
2) decreased production of the suns emission of mystery X causes decay rates to decrease.

Only the solar flare stuff provides any possible indication, and even then, we don't know what actually causes the change in decay rates, so we cannot rule out possibilities 1 and 2.

That paper you provided in the previous thread regarding the variation of decay rates with shape did not prove much of anything. There was nearly as much variation in the decay rates measured for a single shape as their was between shapes, and the variation was not in a consistent direction. At best the paper indicates that a possibility worth additional investigation.

One thing I would like to note here is that the data that that Berkeley used in their rebuttal was collected only once per day over the period. This is arguably not a good enough time resolution to see the effect accurately.

Seriously? Daily is not good enough for an effect that allegedly has an annual variation? I don't see any reason why daily measurements would not sufficient absent a daily variation of a similar or larger amplitude. Can you make an argument that it daily measurements of sufficient accuracy are insufficient?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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PurpleYouko
Member (Idle past 34 days)
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 25 of 67 (710002)
10-31-2013 2:58 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by NoNukes
10-31-2013 2:52 PM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates
In particular what I was looking for was not just verifications of the effect, but verifications that you could actually predict solar flares using the effect. Those are the results you said were repeated by many labs so that the concept of predicting storms with radioactivity increases or decreases was pretty well accepted. I don't believe that statement to be correct.

Did I say many labs confirmed the predictive qualities of this data?
If I did then that was not my intent. All I ever meant to say was that many labs had confirmed that the effect does indeed happen.
Al I know about the predictive qualities of this is that researchers from Purdue have patented the concept of using decay fluctuations to predict solar flairs.

Seriously? Daily is not good enough for an effect that allegedly has an annual variation? I don't see any reason why daily measurements would not sufficient absent a daily variation of a similar or larger amplitude. Can you make an argument that it daily measurements of sufficient accuracy are insufficient?

I shouldn't need to make that argument since the quote in my previous post spells it out.
The point they make is that some solar flare events are only a few hours in duration so a resolution of one data point per day (not a single measurement presumably but several combined to a mean value. At least I hope that's what they mean) is not going to see such an event happen.
Their experiment just has a very low resolution so says nothing of short term fluctuations.
Surely you can't argue with the logic of that. It makes sense to me anyway.

Edited by PurpleYouko, : forgot to address part of the post first time around


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NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9557
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 26 of 67 (710004)
10-31-2013 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by PurpleYouko
10-31-2013 2:58 PM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates
The point they make is that some solar flare events are only a few hours in duration so a resolution of one data point per day (not a single measurement presumably but several combined to a mean value. At least I hope that's what they mean) is not going to see such an event happen.

I have a problem with that rationale. First, there is supposed to be an annual variation. As long as flares don't appear like clockwork, taking data once a day should be plenty of data for verifying an annual variation.

I agree that it would be possible to miss out on seeing a flare prediction, but quite frankly, that's the least well document part of this whole thing.

Al I know about the predictive qualities of this is that researchers from Purdue have patented the concept of using decay fluctuations to predict solar flairs.

Yes, they do indeed have a patent on that concept. I am patent attorney and I have reviewed the prosecution of their patent, and I can assure you that their patent is not very strong evidence that the phenomena actually exists. It is instead evidence that they submitted affidavits swearing that the phenomenon exists. The patent examiner was extremely dubious that the sun could effect decay rates, but the examiner eventually dropped his objections after the affidavits were provided and the file was appealed over his head.

I'll take a second look and see if any useful references are provided in the patent prosecution file.

Did I say many labs confirmed the predictive qualities of this data? If I did then that was not my intent.

Here is what you posted. Not sure what other interpretation to give:

The Purdue team observed a drop in the decay rate a day and a half before a solar flare.
This has since been reproduced by dozens of labs around the world and it is pretty well accepted that it does indeed happen.
Nobody knows the cause yet though.
It doesn't appear to be neutrinos or neutrons or any of the other obvious choices.

Edited by NoNukes, : grammar correction


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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 Message 25 by PurpleYouko, posted 10-31-2013 2:58 PM PurpleYouko has responded

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PurpleYouko
Member (Idle past 34 days)
Posts: 713
From: Columbia Missouri
Joined: 11-11-2004


Message 27 of 67 (710005)
10-31-2013 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by NoNukes
10-31-2013 3:41 PM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates
I have a problem with that rationale. First, there is supposed to be an annual variation. As long as flares don't appear like clockwork, taking data once a day should be plenty of data for verifying an annual variation.

Certainly when looked at simply as a test of annual variation, the number of sample points taken per day is only relevant in terms of the premise that more data points is better than less data points.

Here is what you posted. Not sure what other interpretation to give:

The Purdue team observed a drop in the decay rate a day and a half before a solar flare.
This has since been reproduced by dozens of labs around the world and it is pretty well accepted that it does indeed happen.
Nobody knows the cause yet though.
It doesn't appear to be neutrinos or neutrons or any of the other obvious choices.

The only interpretation you can make here is the correct one.
I spoke (typed) too damn quickly without reviewing my data properly.
If I had bothered to dig a little deeper before posting I would have discovered that the reasonably well accepted fact was that there is fluctuation of a cyclic nature and not that other labs had been able to predict solar flares.

*presents wrists for a good slapping*


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NoNukes
Member
Posts: 9557
From: Central NC USA
Joined: 08-13-2010
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 28 of 67 (710009)
10-31-2013 8:11 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by PurpleYouko
10-31-2013 3:52 PM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates
presents wrists for a good slapping

No thank you. I appreciate you clarifying your position.

the reasonably well accepted fact was that there is fluctuation of a cyclic nature

Well, I am not sure I agree, but I can accept that the ball is in my court to demonstrate the lack of acceptance. Perhaps I will take a stab at it after I review what is available.

ABE:

What I am currently looking at are the proceedings of the US Patent Office which granted the patent you mentioned, and the proceedings of the European Patent Office (EPO) which did not grant the application. I find the EPO analysis interesting. You can find it yourself here:

https://register.epo.org/application?number=EP08863637&ln...

Look for a documents explaining the reasons for not granting the patent.

First some legalese.

In both the US and European application, the claims of the patent involve detecting radiation from a radioactive element and using a computer to correlate the detected radiation with a solar flare (that follows the act of detecting).

In order to be granted a patent, the inventor is required to disclose exactly how the invention worked. In their application, Fishback and Jenkins disclose the details of exactly one solar flare event, and one set of decay data. No details whatsoever are provided for telling how to correlate such data to solar flares.

The EPO found the disclosure to be insufficient to allow the public to actually build a solar flare predictor because of this lack of detail.

In thinking about this issue, remember that the F&J insist that sometimes solar flares are preceded by an increase in decay rates, and sometimes a decrease. Perhaps these "predictions" are of the Nostradamus variety, where the prediction is only recognized after the event actually happens.

The EPO also found the efforts to blame the result on neutrinos, which was what the inventors described in the application, almost laughable (although they were able to avoid putting their guffaws into their official response). Apparently the inventors are still telling their attorney that neutrinos are responsible, something that nobody else seems to believe anymore.

Anyhow, the Fishbach and Jenkins did disclose quite a few references, including a few they had nothing to do with, and I'll discuss them if we are still interested in this topic.

ABE:

I just realized that I know how to build a solar flare predictor. Just build an alarm that beeps once a day. I'm sure that every single solar flare will be preceded by at least a beep or two.

Edited by NoNukes, : Add some detail

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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 Message 27 by PurpleYouko, posted 10-31-2013 3:52 PM PurpleYouko has not yet responded

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petrophysics1
Member
Posts: 343
From: Boulder, Wy
Joined: 04-05-2006


Message 29 of 67 (710049)
11-01-2013 10:17 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by NoNukes
10-31-2013 8:11 PM


Re: Solar Flares and decay rates

I just realized that I know how to build a solar flare predictor. Just build an alarm that beeps once a day. I'm sure that every single solar flare will be preceded by at least a beep or two.

This may work as during the solar minimum there is an average of 1 flare a day and during the solar maximum the average can be as high as 20 per day.

It's not clear to me if they are talking about c, m, or x class flares, or all three. During the last sunspot cycle (96-2006) there were 122 x class flares with some years having as many as 21.

Based on the last solar cycle one of the web pages calculated that at present we should average about 1.2 flares per day during the minimum.

http://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/...ory/questions.htm#frequency


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OS
Member (Idle past 686 days)
Posts: 67
Joined: 06-22-2014


Message 30 of 67 (732373)
07-07-2014 12:14 AM


I would suspect it to be true, if there were a lot of positrons involved interfering with equipment. But the Solis has negatively polarized charges of photons. Unless lasers affect radioactivity, the article seems to be total BS.

Edited by OS, : No reason given.


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