Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics & Astronomy

First Advisor

Ephraim Fischbach

Committee Member 1

Andrew S. Hirsch

Committee Member 2

Ken P. Ritchie

Committee Member 3

Matthew T. Jones


We present a treatment of time-varying nuclear transition rates intended to guide future experimental searches, focusing primarily on the concept of ``self--induce decay.'' This investigation stems from a series of recent reports that suggest that the decay rates of several isotopes may have been influenced by solar activity (perhaps by solar neutrinos). A mechanism in which (anti)neutrinos can influence the decay process suggests that a sample of decaying nuclei emitting neutrinos could affect its own rate of decay. Past experiments have searched for this "self-induced decay" (SID) effect by measuring deviations from the expected decay rate for highly active samples of varying geometries. Here, we further develop a SID formalism which takes into account the activation process. In the course of the treatment, the observation is made that the SID behavior closely resembles the behavior of rate-related losses due to dead-time, and hence that standard dead-time corrections can result in the removal of possible SID-related behavior.