Title: On the claim of modulations in radon decay and their association with solar rotation
Citation: ASTROPARTICLE PHYSICS vol. 97 p. 38-45
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC107872
ISSN: 0927-6505
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC107872
DOI: 10.1016/j.astropartphys.2017.10.011
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Claims were made by Sturrock et al. that radioactive decay can be induced by interaction of the nucleus with solar neutrinos and that cyclic modulations in decay rates are indicative of the dynamics of the solar interior. They analysed a series of measurements of gamma radiation associated with the emanation and decay of radon in a sealed container at the Geological Survey of Israel (GSI) laboratory. The integral count rates in the NaI detector showed strong variations in time of year and time of day. From time-series analysis, Sturrock et al. claim the presence of small oscillations at frequencies in a range between 7.4 a-1 and 12.5 a-1, which they speculatively associated with rotational influence on the solar neutrino flux. In this work, it is argued that the GSI radon measurements are unsuited for studying the variability of decay constants, because the data are strongly influenced by environmental conditions, such as solar irradiance and rainfall. At the JRC and PTB, decay rate measurements of the radon decay chain were performed with ionisation chambers, gamma-ray spectrometers and an alpha spectrometer. No deviation from the exponential-decay law was observed. The existence of cyclic variations in the decay constants is refuted, as well as the concept of measuring solar rotation through radioactive decay.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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