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Author Topic:   Solar flares affect radiometric decay rates?
Posts: 3879
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 2.5

Message 1 of 67 (672239)
09-05-2012 1:00 AM

Someone at Evolution Fairytale forum pointed this out.

The strange case of solar flares and radioactive elements

It's a mystery that presented itself unexpectedly: The radioactive decay of 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 about by a previously unknown particle emitted by the sun. "That would be truly remarkable," said Peter Sturrock, Stanford professor emeritus of applied physics and an expert on the inner workings of the sun.

More at cited source.


{Note: Started in the "Creation/Evolution In The News" forum, but it's going to immediately get moved to "Dates and Dating" - Adminnemooseus}

Edited by Admin, : "effect" => "affect" in thread title.

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by PaulK, posted 09-05-2012 5:51 AM Minnemooseus has taken no action
 Message 5 by Percy, posted 09-05-2012 8:33 AM Minnemooseus has taken no action
 Message 9 by dwise1, posted 09-05-2012 10:30 AM Minnemooseus has replied
 Message 16 by kbertsche, posted 11-02-2012 11:49 AM Minnemooseus has seen this message

Posts: 3879
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 2.5

Message 10 of 67 (672290)
09-06-2012 2:45 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by dwise1
09-05-2012 10:30 AM

...back in 1994 (revised edition in 2002)...

I discovered the article in question isn't brand new, but it is from August of 2010. The apparent source page of that cited in message 1 is http://news.stanford.edu/news/2010/august/sun-082310.html. The content seems to be exactly the same, but the Stanford page formatting is a bit better. Anyway, the Weins page doesn't seem to specifically cover the solar flare situation, which does seem to indicate that there MIGHT be some other influences that would effect decay rates.

From PurpleYouko's message 7:

It would seem that if this is found to be a true phenomenon then the situation gets even worse for YECs because increased activity in the sun appears to be slowing down the decay rate slightly.

Purdue nuclear engineer Jere Jenkins, while measuring the decay rate of manganese-54, a short-lived isotope used in medical diagnostics, noticed that the rate dropped slightly during the flare, a decrease that started about a day and a half before the flare.

YECs need it to go faster

Elsewhere in the source page it seems to indicate the opposite effect:

Checking data collected at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island and the Federal Physical and Technical Institute in Germany, they came across something even more surprising: long-term observation of the decay rate of silicon-32 and radium-226 seemed to show a small seasonal variation. The decay rate was ever so slightly faster in winter than in summer.

The sun is slightly closer in the winter, thus a greater solar influence would be to speed up the decay rate.

I don't think the YEC perspective requires faster or slower - It just need indications that something could effect the rates. My just above quoted would seem to indicate that IF the solar output was significantly higher in the past, then MAYBE the decay rates were also higher in the past. Of course, a very high solar output itself might tend to really cook the Earth.

How this might effect the decay rates of isotopes actually used in radiometric dating doesn't seem to be covered.

Personally, I think the geologic evidence independent of radiometric dating puts the Earth's age far older than the YEC time frame.


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