Unstable Nuclei And The Half-Life


I’ll supply an instance of an anomaly that has usually stricken me – radioactive decay and the ensuing 1/2-life courting. If you decide to accept it, your venture will explain radioactive decay and the resulting half of-lifestyles relationship to me. Don’t tell me what takes place – that I realize. Tell me why it happens whilst it takes place. Tell me why unstable nuclei cross poof absolutely at random, WITHOUT causality, but shape a specific mathematical dating. Why? Why? Why? How? How? How?



You’re privy to the idea of radioactive decay and the half-life relationship that’s taught in the junior excessive faculty. Now radioactive nuclei will decay, go, poof, absolutely at random, in step with the textbooks. Radioactive or volatile nuclei will decay with no causality related to the occasion, consistent with the textbooks. Now, you inform me how inanimate items, risky nuclei, can move poof totally at random without any apparent causality yet gain a particular mathematical courting – the half of life. It makes no sense. It’s near as if a volatile nucleus “is aware of” or is aware while it’s far its turn to head poof for you to keep the 1/2-lifestyles courting. We comprehend it happens, but why it occurs is a proof dwelling someplace in “The Twilight Zone.”

Regarding radioactive decay, humans regularly make one HUGE error. They say my apparent anomaly becomes a result of fluctuations in the quantum vacuum. Please observe the word used – “brought on.” Anyone who says this is guessing. Physicists do not know that. The textbooks honestly kingdom that with appreciation to radioactive decay, there’s NO causality! It just occurs for NO purpose in any respect. So do not argue with me on that – argue with the physicists! If you say radioactive decay is deterministic – just announced that is the clean component – and I’d want to agree, but what precisely determines it?

Now I suspect people are probably complicated quantum fluctuations with quantum tunneling. Now the ‘what’ in the back of radioactive decay – properly especially the emission of alpha debris (helium nuclei) – is sometimes referred to as quantum tunneling, but the ‘why’ at the back of quantum tunneling isn’t always of direction exact or defined either so Panpsychism* is as true a proof as any. But quantum tunneling isn’t the same as quantum fluctuations, and that they fee distinct entries in any textbook index or thesaurus. Quantum tunneling is inner to the nucleus, and so governs the decay or the poof. Quantum fluctuations are outside of the nucleus and accordingly don’t have any effect on what happens internally. Nothing bodily/chemical this is external to a risky nucleus could have the slightest impact on when it is going, poof.

But if quantum tunneling is what happens (leaving out the why and the how for the instant), whilst why (there’s that damn word once more) would not quantum tunneling occur in strong nuclei? That’s one rule for one; one rule for the opposite. That would not make a fantastic deal of experience, considering a nucleus, solid or risky, is only a collection of protons and neutrons. There doesn’t appear to be any greater ‘something’ in a risky nucleus that initiates quantum tunneling. One ought to define a volatile nucleus as one wherein there might be quantum tunneling and a strong nucleus where there may not be quantum tunneling, but it really is just a definition, now not a proof.

I should repeat that when it comes to radioactive decay, there is NO causality. Standard textbooks will tell you what takes place and the way that results in a 1/2-life, after which there will be several paragraphs about how beneficial that is in archaeological, and so forth. Courting. You will NOT find any mention of quantum fluctuations, the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, non-locality, or another attempt at explaining “why.” It might be smooth to say if it were without a doubt the case, that a cosmic ray or a neutrino or a rogue electron, and many others. Slammed into the risky nucleus and set it off in its direction to destruction. But unfortunately, it is now not what the physics texts say either.

half life

As talked about above, there is no acknowledged physical or chemical technique recognized as a way to force a volatile nucleus to go, poof, if it doesn’t need to. You can not hurry things up, nor are you able to retard the process. Sorry, that’s the way it’s miles – in step with the textbooks. One should explain how you may take two certainly equal unstable nuclei and location them inside a virtual Planck Length of every other. They are in a precisely identical environment. One might cross poof within a minute – the dual might stick around for a thousand million years. Ah yes, you assert. However, take two humans and location them facet via a facet. One would possibly have a heart assault instantaneous, and the opposite will now not have a coronary heart attack ever. Except but, that analogy would not prove to be the case if both human beings had been truly coming down to the placement of their closing electron.

However, let us for the moment just be given an explanation of quantum fluctuations as being the purpose of radioactive decay – alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. That clarification solves nothing. Even if quantum fluctuations were accountable for radioactive decay, it still fails to explain how a RANDOM quantum fluctuation method can bring about a PRECISE mathematical relationship. And if quantum fluctuations are not random but are omnipresent all the time 24/7/52, you then expect all risky nuclei to move poof concurrently. The upshot of this is there nonetheless will no resultant specific mathematical courting, the 1/2-existence. The query also desires to be asked, precisely how properly have half of-lives been established? Given that people have simplest known about the concept for more or less ten a long time or so (deliver or take), well extremely brief half-lives relative to the human cognizance of the idea is one element, however whatever within the heaps to tens of millions to billions of years continue to be in speculative limbo.

To illustrate how nutty this all is, we recognize radioactive carbon (C-14), and it is constantly synthetic. Now allow us to consider that C-14 had been to end being manufactured for some purpose, and consequently, the entire supply on Earth could now start to reduce through radioactive decay. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that there are one million C-14 nuclei on Earth. Okay, so the volatile nuclei of C-14 decay away at random. At a few points in time, 500,000 C-14 nuclei may have long past poof on down the tune. You could name that elapsed time the half-lifestyles of C-14. The question is that the 500,000 C-14 nuclei that can be left will maintain to decay at random. Is it extra-logical to suppose that the rest will pass poof in roughly the identical time frame as the first 500,000 nuclei, or that most effective 250,000 will decay in that point body? If only 250,000 cross poof, doesn’t propose a few non-random precepts at work, like, say, recognition on the part of the nuclei (Panpsychism) or a pre-programmed (software program) scenario?

However, now rewind the clock to how C-14 stops being produced and does the situation another time. Because of the random nature of the decay, you’ll get a barely extraordinary half-existence. Go lower back and start all over again, and you will get but another cost. Rewind again and again, and you will never get the identical half-of-life fee. The values might be inside the equal ballpark, perhaps, however. Nonetheless, you’ll grow to be with differing scores, outcomes, results, and so on.

half life

The vital thriller is why you can have a nucleus complete of protons and neutrons in a single particular area to decay after an indeterminable time frame, by way of a way (quantum tunneling) that in itself has no rationalization in that there’s no causality at the back of the tunneling.

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Harlan J. Whelan
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