More follow up on the solar-neutrinos-radioactive decay story – experimental falsification

Getting out of the solar core, neutrinos are speed demons, photons are slugs. h/t to Leif Svalgaard for the graphical annotation inspiration. Solar core image from NASA.

In August, WUWT carried a story that was rather shocking: some physicists published claims they have detected a variation in earthly radioactive decay rates, big news by itself, but the shocker is they attributed it to solar neutrinos.

The findings attracted immediate attention because they seemed to violate two known basic facts of physics:

1. Radioactive decay is a constant

2. Neutrinos very rarely interact with matter and are hard to detect when they do.

For example: trillions of the neutrinos are zipping through your body right now. So why would they interact with radioactive elements in a more detectable way?

WUWT carried a follow-up story, citing doubts. Now there’s confirmation via experiment that the initial doubt was a fluke.

From the NIST: Research Shows Radiometric Dating Still Reliable (Again)

Recent puzzling observations of tiny variations in nuclear decay rates have led some to question the science of using decay rates to determine the relative ages of rocks and organic materials. Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), working with researchers from Purdue University, the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Wabash College, tested the hypothesis that solar radiation might affect the rate at which radioactive elements decay and found no detectable effect.

Atoms of radioactive isotopes are unstable and decay over time by shooting off particles at a fixed rate, transmuting the material into a more stable substance. For instance, half the mass of carbon-14, an unstable isotope of carbon, will decay into nitrogen-14 over a period of 5,730 years. The unswerving regularity of this decay allows scientists to determine the age of extremely old organic materials—such as remains of Paleolithic campfires—with a fair degree of precision. The decay of uranium-238, which has a half-life of nearly 4.5 billion years, enabled geologists to determine the age of the Earth.

Many scientists, including Marie and Pierre Curie, Ernest Rutherford and George de Hevesy, have attempted to influence the rate of radioactive decay by radically changing the pressure, temperature, magnetic field, acceleration, or radiation environment of the source. No experiment to date has detected any change in rates of decay.

Recently, however, researchers at Purdue University observed a small (a fraction of a percent), transitory deviation in radioactive decay at the time of a huge solar flare. Data from laboratories in New York and Germany also have shown similarly tiny deviations over the course of a year. This has led some to suggest that Earth’s distance from the sun, which varies during the year and affects the planet’s exposure to solar neutrinos, might be related to these anomalies.

Researchers from NIST and Purdue tested this by comparing radioactive gold-198 in two shapes, spheres and thin foils, with the same mass and activity. Gold-198 releases neutrinos as it decays. The team reasoned that if neutrinos are affecting the decay rate, the atoms in the spheres should decay more slowly than the atoms in the foil because the neutrinos emitted by the atoms in the spheres would have a greater chance of interacting with their neighboring atoms. The maximum neutrino flux in the sample in their experiments was several times greater than the flux of neutrinos from the sun. The researchers followed the gamma-ray emission rate of each source for several weeks and found no difference between the decay rate of the spheres and the corresponding foils.

According to NIST scientist emeritus Richard Lindstrom, the variations observed in other experiments may have been due to environmental conditions interfering with the instruments themselves.

“There are always more unknowns in your measurements than you can think of,” Lindstrom says.

* R.M. Lindstrom, E. Fischbach, J.B. Buncher, G.L. Greene, J.H. Jenkins, D.E. Krause, J.J. Mattes and A. Yue. Study of the dependence of 198Au half-life on source geometry. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment. doi:10.1016/j.nima.2010.06.270

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Peter Sørensen

This is just a falsification that neutrinoes affect radioactive decay and not a falsification of the sun influencing the decay rate. There might be other mechanisems at work here.

Radioactive decay is not a constant it is a rarely changing variable. There’s is a strong and growing body of evidence that something is changing the decay rates and branching ratios in several reaction. The mainstream is trying to ignore the data from repeated replications of the Fleischmann Pons effect and other similar work. http://www.lenr-canr.org/ covers this work. so does http://www.infinite-energy.com/ but it ventures way out side the box.
There is also the Rate work that proved that there’s an anomaly in granite. The granite has not got enough He trapped in it to correspond with the decay path assumed and the he cant leak out significantly. http://austore.creation.com/catalog/radioisotopes-earth-p-241.html?osCsid=jfk3m3r1a11phme50m2620l1v3
Yes its creationist work because only someone already out side the box is allowed to look at this stuff.
When accelerations occur we are not talking about the normal decay pathway being spend up. We are talking about the elements skipping to another path that has the same products.
Those testing this phenomenon need to look at the polonium halo work and embed an isotope in silicon or quartz. As the decay paths switch they will get high electrons decay products burning rings in the silicate. The radius from the sample will give you the new decay path.
While most here are able to ‘think out side the box’ on climate there’s is a strong tendency to run back into the box and lock your self in when cosmology or origins comes up. Be brave enough to look through Galileo’s telescope. Only by not looking can you be blind to the future of science. The truths you were taught are not all that robust. The lies you were taught are falling. Your in the loop on the fall of the climate change myth, The same people in academia fight tooth and nail against creationism, cold fusion and the non big bang cosmologies. If their wrong on one why not all three. All three are looking at variable decay rates in different contexts.

anna v

Now there’s confirmation via experiment that the initial doubt was a fluke.
Not “doubt”, you must mean “measurement” .
Or, “the initial doubts were valid” is another way of saying this.
An interesting experiment, that by passes the standard model of physics, it says: suppose neutrinos do more than the standard model attributes to them, let us measure it. Very good.
As I said in the previous thread, if the effect is not the result of unknown errors entering the mix, I think it might be proof that the space time changed at that time, changing the decay constants. Maybe the sun system hit some dark matter :).

Spector

That 200,000 year solar photon escape time suggests there must be a very strong solar ‘greenhouse effect’ there. “It’s the sun …”

This is my post at the time:
Despite my hypotheses of Sun- Earth electro-magnetic linkage I am sceptic on this particular issue, at least until we know more details.
Radio active decay produces alpha and beta particles and gamma rays.
– Alpha particle consists of protons neutrons usually bound together into a particle identical to a helium nucleus.
– Beta particles are high-energy, high-speed electrons or positrons
– gamma rays are electromagnetic radiation of high frequency.
Alpha and beta are charged particles and both are deflected by the geomagnetic field, which varies with seasons and during strong flares may even change as much as 10% depending on latitude. The effect would be greatest on the alpha particles since they can travel only a few centimetres in the air. It is the gamma radiation intensity which is the critical factor in ascertaining stability of its decay.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/23/teleconnected-solar-flares-to-earthly-radioactive-decay/#comment-465161

a jones

Well as I said in my original comment if true it was interesting but my gut instinct was that it was a digital difficulty: otherwise known as finger trouble.
And in a later post I pointed out that the first thing to do was to try and verify it using different measuring techniques to see whether it was real or an artifact of the measuring technique used. Because that is what physics and science is all about.
So now we have the answer.
Kindest Regards.

David, UK

How refreshing to see Normal Science at work. Repeat the experiment to see if the original results are replicated, and if they are not replicated then the hypothesis is thrown out. And no one throws their dummy out of the pram in the process.

The Gold-198 work is useful but probably does not help. If it is neutrinos then we would expect that something in the earth or moon has slowed them down. There are several neutron bases reactions that will not occur with fast neutrons but will if something, heavy water, slows them down. we barely know what the earth’s core is made of. Iron nickel but in what state. What are its properties relative to a passing Neutrino. What slows down a neutrino this is the 64 dollar question.
Note Gold 198 decays by losing a neutron what we would be looking for is a decay path that stabilises the isotope by converting an excess proton into a neutron via the quantum capture of both a neutron and an inner orbital electron. Turning gold into mercury. Reverse Alchemy. In half the non big bang theories the neutrino is a high energy high frequency photon like non particle that is the orbital velocity of the bound sub nuclear electron in the neutron. I.E. The Neutron is a proton and a electron bound at the neutron diameter with a binging energy and velocity of the neutrino mass in E=MC^2 Like light it it is emitted because the electron can’t carry the change in velocity as energy.
It goes to basic logic that if neutrinos exist as either a particle with mass or a photon with only energy there must be a sink to match the source otherwise we would be bathed with an infinite flux and would never have localised the source. Since we detect them via detecting an event where they are captured in water then why is it inconceivable that they world react with planetary core to slow down or once slowed would react more readily with an isotope. As with climatology it is not the theory that is obviously wrong but the assumptions that precede the theory.

Grey Lensman

Where is the observations, the experimental proof, that protons take 200,000 years to travel from the core to the surface.
How do you falsify that which you cannot observe or measure. you cant, you have to either take it on trust or rely on maths. Well maths proved the earth centric view of the solar system!
So that leaves you with a pretty lame hypothesis but a good story.

Most probably, neutrinos have nothing to do with deviations in radioactive decay during solar flares. The very existence of neutrinos is under question; it hasn’t been proven in any experiment.
I think the same relativistic effect that makes aluminum-ion clocks diverge at different heights (at different distances from the large concentration of energy/mass) is the reason for these observed deviations in radioactive decay. Solar flares are quick and large changes in energy/mass distribution.
Of course, in its own system of space-time coordinates the rate of decay is constant for any given source. But there is always a distance, however small, between the observers and the source. Time always flows somewhat differently in different points of space (or, conversely, distances always measure somewhat differently at different moments of time). A curvature of the space-time is changing when a local distribution of mass is changing. Hence the observed change of the rate of decay.

Kiminori Itoh

I think one of the points is if they have detected neutrinos from super novae, which for instance the KAMIOKANDE did.

Jon

OK, so newly created neutrinos don’t affect radioactive decay rates. That seems to be all this experiment proves.
What about all the other types of comic-rays and their decay products that shower down through us? Aren’t the intensity of these modulated by the Sun’s magnetic field?

“There are always more unknowns in your measurements than you can think of,” Lindstrom says.”
Never a truer word has been said … particularly if applied to climate “science”!

John A

The comments to this story are depressingly unscientific and rather paranoid.
At the moment, no-one has replicated Fischbach et al’s result and there have been several independent tests which have shown no similar effect. Since Fischbach refuses to allow access to the original data, we can only hypothesize a systematic effect on the experiments.

Louis Hissink

“This is just a falsification that neutrinoes affect radioactive decay and not a falsification of the sun influencing the decay rate. There might be other mechanisems at work here.”
Correct – the only field physics has not tested radiogenic decay in is a changed electric field test. We have tested the magnetic, gravitational, temperature, pressure but not the electric field, yet every experiment testing the other fields was in the earth’s ambient electric field.

Dave Springer

known basic facts of physics:
1. Radioactive decay is a constant

That’s not a fact although it’s widely regarded as one. Hence the surprise.
It’s really just an assumption based on a large but finite number of observations in a small window of time and space. It’s a hypothetical like Popper’s “all swans are white” subject to falsification by a contrary observation. Contrary observations came to light at least a few years ago and are undergoing scrutiny as they should be.

Joe Lalonde

Still no mention of rotational effects that would curve this plane and the other slower photon has to rotate around.

Anthony, your second of the “basic facts of physics” states: “For example: trillions of the neutrinos are zipping through your body right now.” That should be corrected to read: “For example: billions of the neutrinos are zipping through your body right now.

John A

known basic facts of physics:
1. Radioactive decay is a constant
That’s not a fact although it’s widely regarded as one. Hence the surprise.
It’s really just an assumption based on a large but finite number of observations in a small window of time and space. It’s a hypothetical like Popper’s “all swans are white” subject to falsification by a contrary observation. Contrary observations came to light at least a few years ago and are undergoing scrutiny as they should be.

No. Radioactive decay is a quantum process which is entirely random. It is not simply an assumption, but also a prediction from an extremely well-attested physical theory.
The most parsimonious solution is that the original producers of the data had a systematic error in their experiments. When other equally-well done experiments have also found no effect, then the money’s on experimental error and not new physics.

wayne

From the previous article:
“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.”
This is the original claim. It directly implies that being closer to the sun in winter, where the neutrino flux is greater, speeds up the decay rate. That is what I logically assumed they meant and it made sense. More neutrinos, greater decay rate if this were an actual effect of neutrinos hitting nuclei enhancing decay rates.
However, reading this article carefully, the following is the statement by NIST and Purdue that is testing on logic that the exact opposite that which the original team is claiming. They say the sphere would have a flux across atoms within the sphere which is greater that that with the foil, and that is correct, but they were looking for SLOWER rate of decay with greater flux. If I’m not mistaken, it is exactly opposite orientation of the experiment. Now if they can’t even keep the sign of the rates correct, should we assume their tests are perfect correct in spite? (or was this just written by a reported that didn’t really know what he was writing about in the first place) Hmm…
”The team reasoned that if neutrinos are affecting the decay rate, the atoms in the spheres should decay more slowly than the atoms in the foil because the neutrinos emitted by the atoms in the spheres would have a greater chance of interacting with their neighboring atoms.”
Now they say they see zero difference so, if correct, tends to disprove the effect no matter what the orientation is, faster or slower but it would be great if they would at least keep the logic correct.

Joe Lalonde

John A says:
Excellent.
Many people believe theories and Laws are absolute and cannot be incorrect.
Meanwhile back at the lab….

kzb

I’m skeptical of the neutrino effect. If the decay rates are changed as much as claimed (0.1%), that is caused by a 7% variability in the neutron flux as the Earth goes round its orbit. That is, the dependence is about 70:1. That is pretty high for a particle that can travel through light-years of lead.
What this interpretation of the experimental observations implies is that there is a significant cross-section for neutrino interactions, at least with radioactive atoms. Atoms that decay by two different mechanisms (Ra-226 by alpha, and Si-32 by beta) are involved.
Now the planet Earth contains quite a bit of Ra-226, and loads of other radionuclides in the uranium and thorium decay chains, potassium-40, and the long-lived rare-earth nuclides. There must be a massive potential neutrino shield between us and the sun at night, which is not there in the daytime. If the theory is true, there should be a measurable diurnal variation in the solar neutrino flux at any given location (except the poles). I don’t think this has been observed, so I don’t believe the theory.

wolfwalker

John A: The comments to this story are depressingly unscientific and rather paranoid.
Indeed. References to creationist pseudoscience, claims that neutrinos haven’t been observed … sheesh!
Dave Springer: It’s really just an assumption based on a large but finite number of observations in a small window of time and space.
And theoretical arguments that show some Really Really Bad side-effects would occur if radioactive decay rates were not constants. Add in the fact that those same theoretical arguments successfully predicted radioactivity in isotopes that everybody had previously thought were stable, and this particular bit of theory looks pretty solid.

The effect was obviously caused by the increased CO2 blanket around the Earth creating atomic instability by re-radiation of climate change inducing dark energy released by the solar flare.
😉

Brad

OK, so that is indicative of the effect not being caused by neutrinos, but if the effect is real that means the decay rate is changing based on some particle or physical interaction we are CLUELESS about – more discturbing and crazy indded!

ddpalmer

This experiment is good as far as it goes, but does Au-198 produce neutrinos of the same type as the sun does? And did the original work hypothesize that all types of decay and all nuclides react the same to a neutrino flux?
I don’t believe that there is an effect and it was all just experimental error, but other nuclides need to be tested in a similar way to the Au-198 testing and the type/mix of neutrinos needs to match, as close as possible, the sun’s neutrino flux.
I did enjoy the humor of Wesley Bruce’s post, the claim that only ‘scientists’ who ‘think outside the box’ will work on this subject is just laughable. We hear the same chant from homeopaths and all types of psychics, just to name a few of the groups that use this argument. What vested interest are main stream physicists trying to protect? If it exists this effect would do nothing to support creationist claims; a fossil dates as 2 million years old may actually only by 1.999 million years old, oh no that would prove Evolutionary Theory wrong and the Bible right. It would however give physicists numerous new research possibilities and lead to many new theories. This would improve the field of physics and probably lead to more research dollars, so physicists would have a reason to embrace the new theory, if experiments back it up, rather than try and dismiss it.

WebMonk

Wow, way to bring out all the kooks, Anthony!
“Well maths proved the earth centric view of the solar system!”
“The very existence of neutrinos is under question; it hasn’t been proven in any experiment.”
“The mainstream is trying to ignore the data from repeated replications of the Fleischmann Pons effect” (aka Cold Fusion)
Everyone break out the tinfoil hats!

Enneagram

Let´s examine our patience first; let´s see his cardiogram:
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/PolarFields.gif
Why is he/she seemingly dying?. Well, polar fields ideally are, like alternate current:
http://en.labs.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sine_cosine_plot.svg
Then, when this happens, be it a Sun or a person, there must be some lower of voltage in the grid or a grave inteference.
Call 911 better!

Enneagram

What we see it is only the emission field of the Sun, we can´t see it, really. In other words we are watching its blazing higher atmosphere: Its ionosphere.
Ask then, what particles/radiation are emitted by an arc (short circuit) in an almost perfect vacuum environment?

John Whitman

Peter Sørensen
September 27, 2010 at 12:40 am
This is just a falsification that neutrinoes affect radioactive decay and not a falsification of the sun
influencing the decay rate. There might be other mechanisms at work here.

—–
Peter Sørensen,
I agree. But I would broaden your statement.
If the original study/experiment that showed variation in radioactve decay rates of certain isotopes on earth is eventually replicated successfully and verified widely and repeatedly then there will be the very broad question of what causes it.
Neutrino interaction may not be the cause as shown by this radioactve gold experiment.
Then there would exist an opportunity for some serious focus on the search for a cause. I would enjoy following that potential story . . . if it starts.
But first that original experiment showing variation in decay rates needs to be verified/replicated.
John

kim

Code Neutrino, STAT. Paging Dr. Elektro. Slip the juice to me, Bruce.
======================

kim

Sunsfusion, sunsfusion; never, never, never gonna think again.
==================

John A
If Fischbach is withholding his data that is bad form, and anyone who follows this blog should know that. The problem I have is that replicating an experiment by doing something different does not disprove the original experiment! It would be like trying to replicate a high temperature superconductor experiment by using a different substance than the first experiment and claiming high temp superconductors don’t exist. It only shows that substance is not a high temp superconductor.
The same is true here. If others have replicated the same experiment as Fischbach (assuming Fischbach provided enough information too preform a valid replication) and not gotten the same results then that is a different story.

johnnythelowery

IF only these people, and here’s a quote from the original post here at WUWT
‘…………..Ephraim Fischbach, a physics professor at Purdue, was looking into the rate of radioactive decay of several isotopes as a possible source of random numbers generated without any human input. (A lump of radioactive cesium-137, for example, may decay at a steady rate overall, but individual atoms within the lump will decay in an unpredictable, random pattern. Thus the timing of the random ticks of a Geiger counter placed near the cesium might be used to generate random numbers.)
As the researchers pored through published data on specific isotopes, they found disagreement in the measured decay rates – odd for supposed physical constants.
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…………..’
HAD HEARD OF THIS FROM THIS FOLLOW UP POST:
‘…..According to NIST scientist emeritus Richard Lindstrom, the variations observed in other experiments may have been due to environmental conditions interfering with the instruments themselves…..’
We wouldn’t be having this conversation. I am sure the original scientists who broke this story, the first thing they thought of was instrument effects. As it was, this decay phenomenon had nothing to do with Neutrinos… as hypothesized here @ WUWT:
ANNA darling: Hope you don’t mind me reciting your post here.
‘………anna v says:
August 24, 2010 at 12:42 am
Well, if you want this particle physicist’s opinion, assuming that the effect is real, it is a space time and gravity effect.
Neutrinos interact very weakly with matter in general and certainly could not affect decay rates.
The “decay rates are constant” is dependent on the assumption “space time is constant” i.e. gravity does not change. The same with the velocity of light, we call it constant, except it is so only where space time is stable. It is affected by the geometry of gravity.
If the effect is real, it might be the first proof of gravitons, and in this sense the professor is right, except that the particles are not unknown but expected.
Scenario: the nonuniform rotation of the inner sun core creates gravitational fields that radiate gravitons and induce flares because of compressions and relaxations of the plasma. Gravitons affect the decay rates where they pass ( atoms at earth bobbing up and down with the distortion of space time).
An independent confirmation of such a scenario would be the measuring of the velocity of light on earth for a few sun rotations.
I am good at guesses:) or what?……….’
————————————————————————————————————
It ain’t Neutrinos according to Anna in the thread of the first post. The experiment above is a Straw-Man. We have to await Fermilab on this one….or Anna’s experiment she’s doing in her basement. Everyone else can……………….

Grey Lensman

So, the earthcentrics did not develop epicycles to explain the observed planetary movements?
So fact becomes tin foil hat.
So what does that make the “Man Made Global Warmers”?

wayne

Walter Schneider says:
September 27, 2010 at 3:24 am
Anthony, your second of the “basic facts of physics” states: “For example: trillions of the neutrinos are zipping through your body right now.” That should be corrected to read: “For example: billions of the neutrinos are zipping through your body right now.“

I know Anthony picked one that says ‘billions right now’ but this one says 50 trillion per second through your body and probably has a better direct tie to physicists that know:
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/neutrino.html
REPLY: A billion here, a trillion there, pretty soon we are talking about real mass 😉 – Anthony

Chad Woodburn

Slower than a speeding slug.
While the metaphor is apt and correct about photons being like slugs, I was curious to know which was faster: photons escaping the sun (using the figures in the picture) or a slug. The radius of the sun is 435,000 miles. That means that if a photon starts out in the center of the sun, and if it takes that photon 200,000 years to reach the surface of the sun, then its progress away from the center of the sun is 1.31 feet per hour. Slugs on the other hand travel at between 30 and 150 feet per hour. So, the slug wins, traveling between 23 and 115 times faster than the photon.

Tim Huck

All they have proven is that a sphere and sheet of material decay at the same rate. Their assumption is that there would be a difference, however, I’m not sure that disproves the original claim. The seasonal differences could apply equally to either a sphere or a sheet.
They might have ruled out neutrinos.

jorgekafkazar

Peter Sørensen says: “This is just a falsification that neutrinoes affect radioactive decay and not a falsification of the sun influencing the decay rate. There might be other mechanisems at work here.”
Certainly! Here at the Melvin Dumar Institute of Technology in Utah, we believe that orgone rays emitted from the sun interact with the ether, releasing radioactive phlogiston, which affects the decay rate. Robust. Unprecedented. QED.
Do I really need to add “sarc-off?”

JohnL

If you get the sign wrong on a graviton, is it really a “lifton”? And would that cause the expansion rate of the universe to increase over time?
…oh, never mind. That couldn’t happen, right?

Enneagram

Neutrinos are in the mind of the beholder :-)…..when wandering in the twilight zone

Enneagram

Or rather Neutrinos are the emission field of a neutral mind.

I tried to catch a neutrino once. The d@#$ned thing went right through my hand! Neutrinos are very disconcerting.

GeoFlynx

Now look what you’ve done – we have all the 6000 year old Earthers coming out claiming scientific fraud! It won’t be long before we will have images of Moses riding a pteradactyl. Great!

Dave Springer

Chad Woodburn says:
September 27, 2010 at 7:25 am
“Slower than a speeding slug.”
Thanks for the laugh! Good one.

johnnythelowery

The point I was trying to make..and probably didn’t very clearly, is:
1. That thanks to a particle-physcist blogger here—ANNA… we felt very early that it aint’ any of the known 3 flavours of Neutrinos.
2. And the guys that presented this paper…the first thing they thought of was probably: ‘we aint publishing this nonsense until we feel it absolutely wasn’t environmental conditions interfering with the instruments themselves every 29 days.’
3. The rebuttal here is a straw man.

Jason Calley

Barry W says: “The problem I have is that replicating an experiment by doing something different does not disprove the original experiment! ”
YES!! Doing something similar may be very interesting, and (depending on how similar) may be additional evidence that either supports or weakens the probablility of the original experiment being correct, but the only real proof or disproof comes through repeating the same experiment. That, of course, is the main reason why real scientists (as opposed to mere credentialed scam artists) must make both their experimental procedures, data, metadata, and analysis available. Only with that information can an experiment be verified or refuted. Any “science” which does not allow repetition for confirmation is not science, but is only unsupported assertion.

Michael J. Dunn

The issue about “slow” photons is really a symptom of their path lengths being extended by many absorptions and emissions, not that the speed of light has been drastically reduced within the Sun (though it may be reduced to some degree). This is illustrated by the excellent diagram at the opening of this post.
Epicycles do exist, as can be found from Hill’s equations. (A satellite can be made to “orbit” another satellite, in the functional equivalent of an epicycle.) They are just less elegant than Kepler’s theory. Been there, done that.
I was under the impression that neutrinos were manifestations of the weak force. The weak force mediates radioactive decay. It seems inherently plausible that, while neutrinos may have little effect on or interaction with stable nuclei, they may exhibit “resonances” with radioactive nuclei. Resonance effects are well known for neutron absorption in nuclear fission. (The weak force also seems to be linked with the electromagnetic force. Tinfoil berets, anyone?)
Finally, no one likes the applecart to be upset…because it’s “their” applecart. Delve into Halton Arp’s struggle to reinterpret galactic redshift.

George E. Smith

Well if memory serves me; that Gold 198 beta decays to Mercury 198; which is a very nifty stuff to have around; but expensive to get.
198Hg has one of the sharpest sets of spectral emission lines of any known nuclide. Something to do with no hyperfine structure or something like that.
In any case the interference rings from a Fabry-Perot Etalon of the 198 Hg emission lines, are just beautifully sharp.
But you have to make the 198Au first to get the 198Hg.
I don’t remeber what my initial reactiont ot eh neutrino story was; but I’m no more surprised by this follow up.

To be perfectly clear, it was a HYPOTHESIS that neutrinos from the sun caused the observations.
The experiment shows (presumably, since I haven’t gone into it in detail, but assume they’re competant at setting up the experiment) that neutrinos do not affect decay rate.
The experiment does not show that the initial observations were incorrect, nor does it totally disprove that an unknown solar mechanism could be doing this. The experiment was a very narrow test used to isolate a neutrino mechanism. Lets not attribute more to the experiment than it actually tested. The initial observations MAY have been a fluke in randomness, but no experiment has been advanced yet to determine that.