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Radioactive Decay


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#21 Ron

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:03 PM

When I started to enroll in college for a degree in geology, I changed my mind after they told me that I had to take four full years of math and literature. In my opinion, it would only take away from the relevant subject at hand.

When I got my Machine Tool Technology diploma I had to take a trig. course and statistical process control. They were both math, but they related specifically to the subject at hand.

I can't see any reason why literature would make anybody any better at geology. :lol:


Enjoy.


I thought literature was a course requirement in all four year degrees! Anyway, in any course of study with historical significance, basic literary understanding (Lit 101) is a good foundation not only for assistance in higher learning studies, but it also helps with the context for understanding the mindset and cultures of people groups when studying geology and archeology.

I’m just saying…

#22 jason

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 12:10 PM

In florida I believe thats called enc 1104. English literature.

I posses only a a.as in automotive technology, yes that is offered at my alma mater.

lol.I gots my edmucation. I is a college gaduate.

#23 AFJ

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 04:12 PM

Ron and Jason 777,

We have a troll. Check out http://www.theologyw...ioactive-decay. Look at the first post by Matt Hunt--Undergraduate. The date of the post is April 2011. Maths either plagiarized, or he is not a PhD. He is clearly misrepresenting himself though.

#24 jason777

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 04:43 PM

I assumed that when he used the term "proof". That usually only comes from the naturalistic fanaticals like Dawkins that like to parade it around at their atheistic dominated parent forum.



Enjoy.

#25 Ron

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 08:17 PM

Ron and Jason 777,

We have a troll. Check out http://www.theologyw...ioactive-decay. Look at the first post by Matt Hunt--Undergraduate. The date of the post is April 2011. Maths either plagiarized, or he is not a PhD. He is clearly misrepresenting himself though.


Naw... Come-on AFJ... They can't be the same! One in a Doctor of Mathology, and the other is an under grad!!! :lol:

#26 ikester7579

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 08:35 AM

Ron and Jason 777,

We have a troll. Check out http://www.theologyw...ioactive-decay. Look at the first post by Matt Hunt--Undergraduate. The date of the post is April 2011. Maths either plagiarized, or he is not a PhD. He is clearly misrepresenting himself though.


You have heard that a true proven fact with mountains of empirical evidence needs so such deception. It's basically a oxymoron. Deception needed to prove a truth? :rolleyes:

#27 AFJ

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:49 PM

I thought literature was a course requirement in all four year degrees! Anyway, in any course of study with historical significance, basic literary understanding (Lit 101) is a good foundation not only for assistance in higher learning studies, but it also helps with the context for understanding the mindset and cultures of people groups when studying geology and archeology.

I’m just saying…

Nothing like a well rounded education. I love to learn, but I'm cheap lol. I'm tryin to get my name off all the cosigns for my kids, get out of debt, and make some money for retirement.

I'd love to get paid for learning more, but who would want to hire a 55 year old 1st year chemist or biological scientist, with an $80,000 school debt.

Hey, but there's alot of online stuff you can do science with as a hobby.

#28 AFJ

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 01:38 PM

You also said electrons don't age--when neutrons are what are initially lost in isotopes. I suppose this was a brain cramp, since you have a PhD and all, or are you a troll that took some calculus?



I am reading Ernest Rutherford's data on the decay curve. Did you know there is also an observed recovery curve in experimental work which had to be interpreted? Most of us are not told there was also an observable recovery of radioactive activity over time in some U-chain isotopes, which [was experimentally observed by Rutherford]....Here are Rutherford's observations of the recovery rate of the thorium fraction he called ThX, which could have been radium or something else--don't know. At any rate, the two compared samples are thorium hydroxide and "ThX." Notice one curve has a positive axis direction. This is what Rutherford called "recovery" of radioactive activity. The other curve has a negative axis direction, which is the one we have all heard about.

Posted Image

You see that Rutherford observed the little day long curves initially. This resembles a transition that could be indicative of chemical kinetics. They are both going in the opposite direction of both the decay and recovery curves. He also noticed that different thorium compounds had different rates of radioactive activity. Perhaps you could comment on these things. What is your take on the half life "recovery." If thorium is decaying into a new isotope, why would the two activities not be combined (added together), thus giving a total the two, and not accounted as the half life of just one? One is changing into another.


I wanted to bring attention to the above graph. Rutherford had a precipitate (a solid that forms from solution, by various means) from thorium nitrate. Thorium is part of the uranium lead decay chain, and there are several thorium isotopes. Okay so look at the graph, one curve is up and one down. The one going down is the one we always hear about--a decay curve. But the other is a "recovery curve." The "ThX" precipitate actually increased radioactivity over the time the two samples were compared. Thorium hydroxide and the "ThX" were compared under the same time period. Why do we never hear about an increase in radioactivity over time, only the diminishing??

Another question: If you measure a sample of thorium isotope, it supposed to decay to the next isotope. That would mean, if the rate is fast enough, there is also a new isotope occurring in the sample, which is also radioactive, and would start to decay. So really, the curve is not just one isotope, but the parent, plus the daugher, and possibly a "grandaughter," if the decay is fast enough.

That said, we don't get the data, we get interpretation according to the old earth model. I want to know why there is a positive y axis curve, that also increases in half lives on Rutherford's precipitate. I had NEVER heard of ANYTHING like this, but it is on Rutherford's graph, who is a father of chemistry and physics.

#29 skeptic

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:37 AM

Hello AFJ,

may I answer this?

Actually you already gave the answer yourself. Rutherford and Sobby separated their Thorium by precipitation with ammonia. So they get a rather clean sample of Thorium. Thorium is not that active since it has a rather long half life but the daughter products of the radioactive decay are much more active themselves. So they get an increase (recovery) of their activity until the chain of daughter products is replenished. The separated Thorium got it´s original activity (which actually comes mostly from the daughter isotopes).
The separated supernatant of the precipitation (the so called Thorium X) contains all the active daughter elements and since it doesn´t get filled up by the Thorium when it decays it´s activity goes down in the normal known decay curve.
Nothing magic, nothing new, first semester of chemistry or physics. You can actually infer from these decay and recovery routes that the radioactive decay is an exponential function with a constant half life.

#30 AFJ

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 05:36 AM

Hello AFJ,

may I answer this?

Actually you already gave the answer yourself. Rutherford and Sobby separated their Thorium by precipitation with ammonia. So they get a rather clean sample of Thorium. Thorium is not that active since it has a rather long half life but the daughter products of the radioactive decay are much more active themselves. So they get an increase (recovery) of their activity until the chain of daughter products is replenished. The separated Thorium got it´s original activity (which actually comes mostly from the daughter isotopes).
The separated supernatant of the precipitation (the so called Thorium X) contains all the active daughter elements and since it doesn´t get filled up by the Thorium when it decays it´s activity goes down in the normal known decay curve.
Nothing magic, nothing new, first semester of chemistry or physics. You can actually infer from these decay and recovery routes that the radioactive decay is an exponential function with a constant half life.

First of all, I wouldn't expect anything magic, or a rule breaking anomoly. Second, I found that the historic ThX is actually Radium 224 which is in the thorium decay series. http://en.wikipedia....iki/Decay_chain

You are right that Th 232 has a very long half life, but I don't believe Rutherford was handling Th 232. Thorium 232 has too great a half life for the activity decrease Rutherford saw in just 21 days. The ThX, radium 224, has a half life of about 3.6 days, which matches the graph in my post. It decays to radon 220. Wiki gives the historic name to radon 220, as the "thorium emanation" Rutherford reported in the link I gave. That's two common factors, so I'm sure you can find supporting literature for this.

You are correct that the daughter products after Radium 224, until stable (non radioactive) Pb 208, are short half lives. But you have a problem here. They're less than 12 hours of half lives, if you add them up. So this creates a problem for an accumulating or "replenishing" hypothesis. The 5 daughters from radium 224 to lead 208 would decay faster than the radium 224--this would not show a continual positive half life progression of radioactivity. you would have temporary accumulation effects because there would be a mixture of parent and daughter decay, but the daughter is so short lived, it's not going to provide a net increase in radioactivity--only for small spikes, not a continuous upward curve.

Another problem is the half lives are at different rates, so you wouldn't have a steady line of increase. Plus there would be a mixture of the parent with daughters and "granddaughters." I submit you would have quick spikes of activity, followed by quick decline, with an over all 21 day decline (because of the very short half lives of the daughters). These short half lives would not provide a continual accumulation of activity.

Look at this illustration--if the five daughters to lead are water in a bucket--I can fill that bucket in 3.6 days. The problem is there is a hole which allows the bucket to drain in one day. I ask you will I ever be able to fill the bucket--NO. But this isn't what Rutherford saw. He observed the bucket to fill.

Therefore, there could be other factors involved, that science is not completely accounting for. Physics online instructors gave me the same answer you did, and I assumed the same thing at first, but after math, it doesn't add up. If PhD's are not looking at their own tables, where does that leave the student? What say you?

#31 skeptic

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 05:36 AM

Hi AFJ,

sorry that my response had a long time coming but I had other things to do.

You make a common mistake by looking at the half lifes. They are the time by which half of the material is gone/decayed independend on how much was there. Therefore your analogy withe the water buckets are not quite correct, because the hole is always the same size and therefore little amount decays faster than a bigger amount.
Also the half life is not a fixed time in that sense that just emerging material sits for it´s half life and then starts to decay.
It is always an exponential curve. It´s always a continuous process.
That in mind, the produced daughter element of Th-232 of which just a little has emerged decays fast but is not gone since an even bigger amount of Th-232 decays. Thats because there is much more Th-232 there in comparison to the daughter element. So the amount of daughter goes up until the rate of production of Th-daughter is as high as the rate of decaying daughter. Same for all following daughter isotopes in the chain. When all daughters are in equilibrium (rate of production and rate of decay are balanced)the activity is at it´s highest (and the chain is "replenished"). Then it can go down in it´s normal decay rate.
So there is a continuous progression activity going up and going down. No spikes, no jumping of activity whatsoever. These are all flow-processes i guess called in english "steady state". You should read up on that.

Your other remark that Rutherford hadn´t handled Th-232 because he saw an activity decrease in 21 days. Where did you get that from? I couldn´t find it.

I hope my explanations are of any help to you. You should clearly rethink the implications of decay rates, the "replenishing" of decay chains and steady state processes. I would also recommend to read something about reaction kinetics especially for zeroth order reactions like radioactive decay.

#32 AFJ

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:05 AM

Hi AFJ,

sorry that my response had a long time coming but I had other things to do.

You make a common mistake by looking at the half lifes. They are the time by which half of the material is gone/decayed independend on how much was there. Therefore your analogy withe the water buckets are not quite correct, because the hole is always the same size and therefore little amount decays faster than a bigger amount.
Also the half life is not a fixed time in that sense that just emerging material sits for it´s half life and then starts to decay.
It is always an exponential curve. It´s always a continuous process.
That in mind, the produced daughter element of Th-232 of which just a little has emerged decays fast but is not gone since an even bigger amount of Th-232 decays. Thats because there is much more Th-232 there in comparison to the daughter element. So the amount of daughter goes up until the rate of production of Th-daughter is as high as the rate of decaying daughter. Same for all following daughter isotopes in the chain. When all daughters are in equilibrium (rate of production and rate of decay are balanced)the activity is at it´s highest (and the chain is "replenished"). Then it can go down in it´s normal decay rate.
So there is a continuous progression activity going up and going down. No spikes, no jumping of activity whatsoever. These are all flow-processes i guess called in english "steady state". You should read up on that.

Your other remark that Rutherford hadn´t handled Th-232 because he saw an activity decrease in 21 days. Where did you get that from? I couldn´t find it.

I hope my explanations are of any help to you. You should clearly rethink the implications of decay rates, the "replenishing" of decay chains and steady state processes. I would also recommend to read something about reaction kinetics especially for zeroth order reactions like radioactive decay.


(sorry, my keyboard is starting to get old, so there might be some missing e's and I don't have time to edit)
Thanks Skeptic,
First, I have a couple of links I wanted you to check out. Rutherford's curve that I posted is around 3.5 days, which matched the wiki table for the radium (historical name thorium X by Rutherford), it is not Th232. This is where you'l find Rutherford's expriments http://web.lemoyne.e...ta/ruthsod.html You need to look at the Thorium series table provided at wiki, and you will find the historical names, as well as the modern names. Thorium x is radium, and the thorium emanation is radon gas. You'll see that it was not thorium 232, unless the throium x (radium) was coming from the daughters of Th 232. The daughters after radium in the thorium series are short half lives, on the order of hours, minutes and seconds. And I understand what a half life curve is and it's nature. That it is an exponentially slowing decrease into the next daughter product, either by beta or alpha decay. Each half life series has quantum decreases in atomic weight of 4.

Here's a few links that challenge the dogma of immutabl half lives.

A cool solution to waste disposal
Jul 31, 2006 http://physicsworld....icle/news/25446

A group of physicists in Germany claims to have discovered a way of speeding up radioactive decay that could render nuclear waste harmless on timescales of just a few tens of years. Their proposed technique – which involves slashing the half-life of an alpha emitter by embedding it in a metal and cooling the metal to a few degrees kelvin – could therefore avoid the need to bury nuclear waste in deep repositories, a hugely expensive and politically difficult process. But other researchers are sceptical and believe that the technique contradicts well-established theory as well as experiment....


Jun 8, 2009

Ultrasonic cavitation of water speeds up thorium decay http://cerncourier.c...icle/cern/39158

It is a common belief that radioactive decay rates are unchanged by external conditions, despite many examples of small shifts (particularly involving external pressure and K-capture decays) being well documented and understood. However, Fabio Cardone of the Institute per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati in Rome and colleagues have shown a dramatic increase – by a factor of 10,000 – in the decay rate of thorium-228 in water as a result of ultrasonic cavitation. Exactly what the physics is and whether or not this sort of effect can be scaled up into a technology for nuclear waste treatment remain open issues.

NUCLEAR HALF-LIFE MODIFICATION TECHNOLOGY
GDR GREEN NEWSLETTER 001 http://www.gdr.org/nuclear_half.htm

...Radioactive isotope decay rate or half-life can be increased or decreased as needed to deactivate radioactivity or to increase shelf life of radioactive isotopes. Currently many investigators/experimenters have reported half-life anomalies and have demonstrated repeatability of the various processes. The deactivation/neutralization of radioactivity in isotopes by the several demonstrated processes clearly suggest the possibility of full scale processing of radioactive nuclear materials to deactivate radioactive nuclear materials.

Why does DOE insist on saving every precious isotope of nuclear waste for some possible unknown future use? It should be recognized as nuclear hazardous radioactive waste deserving of permanently deactivation. Is it not clear that radioactive nuclear waste is being released and distributed into the air, water, land? Yet, the current Secretary of Energy announced, as was reported April 9, 2003 in the Los Angeles Times, that the DOE Secretary knew of NO other way of disposing of the radioactive nuclear waste other than burying it at Yucca Mountain. DOE nihilistic nuclear radioactive waste materials approach is releasing nuclear radioactive materials daily 24/7 into the earth environment.

The first deactivation process that I am aware of that was developed for the expressed purpose of permanently deactivating radioactivity in nuclear materials. The Baumgartner process was accomplished and demonstrated in early 1964. Baumgartner process demonstrated that C60 gamma radiation could be reduced to background radiation levels. With an additional step in the Baumgartner process, the radioactivity was reduced to a nil radiation level. This process and many other processes that modifies an isotope half-life are designated Nuclear Half-life Modification Technology.

The Baumgartner process is described under Nuclear Half-life Modification Technology at www.gdr.org so that can be performed by any interested party.

The Baumgartner process can easily be duplicated by any Nuclear Half-life Modification researcher/investigator/experimenter. While deactivation of radioactivity was accomplished at a high temperature in an applied DC voltage field, an interesting alternative experiment is the investigation of isotope half-life changes at ambient temperature in a +/- DC voltage fields. Suggest using Am241, since its log lambda/lamdba nought versus DC voltage plot shows a significant slope. With this Am241 data in hand one can easily see the preservation possibilities for isotopes that respond to DC voltage.



#33 miles

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 09:10 PM

(sorry, my keyboard is starting to get old, so there might be some missing e's and I don't have time to edit)
Thanks Skeptic,
First, I have a couple of links I wanted you to check out. Rutherford's curve that I posted is around 3.5 days, which matched the wiki table for the radium (historical name thorium X by Rutherford), it is not Th232. This is where you'l find Rutherford's expriments http://web.lemoyne.e...ta/ruthsod.html You need to look at the Thorium series table provided at wiki, and you will find the historical names, as well as the modern names. Thorium x is radium, and the thorium emanation is radon gas. You'll see that it was not thorium 232, unless the throium x (radium) was coming from the daughters of Th 232. The daughters after radium in the thorium series are short half lives, on the order of hours, minutes and seconds. And I understand what a half life curve is and it's nature. That it is an exponentially slowing decrease into the next daughter product, either by beta or alpha decay. Each half life series has quantum decreases in atomic weight of 4.

Here's a few links that challenge the dogma of immutabl half lives.

I think there may be a mixup on which curve is being discussed. The decreasing activity is the curve for the radium only sample. The activity is decreasing because there is nothing creating more radium and the daughter products decay so quickly they can't accumulate.

The increasing sample contained only thorium initially. The reason it is increasing is because th232 decays slowly (low activity), while it's daughter products decay faster (higher activity) but are able to stick around long enough to increase in amount and therefore increase the activity of the sample.

The half life of thorium is long enough that only a very small amount of Ra-224 will be produced in 3 days. However, only half of that produced ra-224 will decay in that same 3 day span. This means that the ra-224 will accumulate until the amount of ra-224 lost every 3 days is equal to that produced every 3 days by the thorium sample.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-life
The equation is (atoms leftover)=(# starting atoms)*.5 ^ (time/half life)

Thorium 232 decays slowly enough that over the course of a few months the amount of decays every 3 days is essentially a constant X. For simplicity in the below example, I'm treating each set of decays as occurring in 3 day intervals rather than continuously. It illustrates the principle if not the exact numbers. You can use the half life equation to get real numbers if you'd prefer.

Let X be the number of radium atoms produced by thorium at 3 day intervals. The total radium in the sample will be X plus whatever was leftover from the previous 3 day interval. Half of the total radium will decay leaving half for the next 3 day interval.

After day 3 we produced X, X/2 decayed. we have X/2 leftover radium atoms in the sample.
After day 6 we produced X, X + X/2 = 3X/2, after half of that decays we have 3X/4 leftover.
After day 9 we produced X, X + 3X/4 = 7X/4. after half of that decays we have 7X/8 leftover.
Notice that the leftover radium is getting closer and closer to X and the amount of decays (activity) is increasing as well.
This will continue until we have X produced with X leftover. X + X = 2X. after half of that decays, we have X leftover.

This will show up at an increase in activity that eventually reaches a maximum. After the maximum is reached there will be a very slow decrease in activity with the rate of decrease being related to the half life of the thorium.

#34 skeptic

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 05:09 AM

(sorry, my keyboard is starting to get old, so there might be some missing e's and I don't have time to edit)
Thanks Skeptic,
First, I have a couple of links I wanted you to check out. Rutherford's curve that I posted is around 3.5 days, which matched the wiki table for the radium (historical name thorium X by Rutherford), it is not Th232. This is where you'l find Rutherford's expriments http://web.lemoyne.e...ta/ruthsod.html You need to look at the Thorium series table provided at wiki, and you will find the historical names, as well as the modern names. Thorium x is radium, and the thorium emanation is radon gas. You'll see that it was not thorium 232, unless the throium x (radium) was coming from the daughters of Th 232. The daughters after radium in the thorium series are short half lives, on the order of hours, minutes and seconds. And I understand what a half life curve is and it's nature. That it is an exponentially slowing decrease into the next daughter product, either by beta or alpha decay. Each half life series has quantum decreases in atomic weight of 4.

Here's a few links that challenge the dogma of immutabl half lives.


Hi AFJ,

Maybe I understand your problem. Correct me if I´m wrong. You said the decay curve shows the same slope as the recovery curve, but the decay curve is not from the original Thorium but from the separated "Thorium X" = Radium. Yes but originally he worked with Thorium and his daughter elements and separated them and examined the different activities of the separated specimens. The small disturbance in the first few days in the beginning of the slope comes from the "Thorium emanation" = Radon which is normally gaseous therefore "emanation".
If that is not your problem i don´t get it.

Concerning your links. Yes there are some reports on changing nuclear reactions under special conditions. As you might know there are different kinds of nuclear reactions and decay processes. Some of them can be changed by altering the probability of quantum tunneling by drastic alterations on the electric potential on the surroundings of the nucleus. Your first link falls under that category, but that one is at the moment highly controversial. Even if it is true you have to have a rather pure block of metal with rather diluted amounts of your radioactive substance. The free electrons, that exist in the conduction band seem to change the electric properties around the nucleus. Quite hard to believe but why not...
I heard several times about your second source. Fabio Cardone is quite infamous about his piezonuclear reactions and his group is the only research group that has seen such an effect so far. Other groups working on the field highly doubt his findings. There was a similar rumour some years ago about cold fusion processes induced by ultrasonic bubbles in liquids. Different investigative commissions tried to verify that claim and a lot of research groups tried to copy the experiments. None succeeded. This "new" finding is of similar character.
Didn´t heard about the last one before but their mixing with groups that propagate free energy, which is a complete hoax, isn´t quite promising. I will look into it, but I didn´t have the impression they have more sources than the ones you provided.

Speeding up radioactive decay or fusion processes is possible under very extreme conditions like in plasmas, this is not quite new. Doesn´t affect radioactive decay under normal conditions.
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