Analysis of environmental influences in nuclear half-life measurements exhibiting time-dependent decay rates

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Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section a-Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 620,2-3 (2010) 332-342;


In a recent series of papers evidence has been presented for correlations between solar activity and nuclear decay rates. This includes an apparent correlation between Earth-Sun distance and data taken at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), and at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). Although these correlations could arise from a direct interaction between the decaying nuclei and some particles or fields emanating from the Sun, they could also represent an "environmental" effect arising from a seasonal variation of the sensitivities of the BNL and PTB detectors due to changes in temperature, relative humidity, background radiation, etc. In this paper, we present a detailed analysis of the responses of the detectors actually used in the BNL and PTB experiments, and show that sensitivities to seasonal variations in the respective detectors are likely too small to produce the observed fluctuations. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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