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However, “changes in radioactive decay constant depending on the physical and chemical environment of the nuclide have been known for 40 years.” In particular a researcher . As the discovery was not of direct relevance to the research involved it was not published until 1994, when it appeared to have relevance to the problem of “cold fusion.” That test involved other radioactive elements, but it showed that radioactive decay rates can be altered, thus creating more uncertainty regarding the second of the facts essential to precise C14 dates. neutrino flux of the superexplosion must have had the peculiar characteristic of resetting all our atomic clocks.” Supernova 1987-A was studied carefully by scientists.

Other things affecting decay rates were mentioned by G. It was the first exploded star close enough to Earth and large enough for detailed analysis—made possible by the emplacement of modern neutrino-detection equipment.

Brent Dalrymple, including electric fields, pressure, and chemical combination. Some scientists already favor the idea that sub-atomic particles such as neutrinos may affect radioactive decay. He suggested that a supernova—one that is believed to have exploded about 11,000 years ago and only 1,500 light-years away—could have thrown dating measurements into a “cocked hat! Roland Pease reported that it was the only supernova that could be seen well since 1604.

was discovered by detectors both in the Japanese Alps and in a salt mine under the shore of Lake Erie.

It is also worth remembering that in a sample from 3000 BC the C14 content is now only diminishing at a rate of 0.0066% per year, . Experiments have been performed to try to determine if radioactive decay rates can be affected when the materials involved are subjected to unusual conditions.

As early as 1954 Kalervo Rankama reported: “the decay constant may be slightly altered by putting the nuclide in a different chemical combination or physical state.” The constancy of rate of radioactive decay in all physical and chemical conditions is the mainstay of radiometric dating. found that with a mixture of titanium and radioactive tritium “its radioactivity declined sharply” as it was heated from 115 to 160 degrees C.

If its current level is only one quarter of the original estimate, 11,460 years old, and so on. Since scientists aren’t able to take sophisticated equipment back in time to actually measure the C14 concentration when a plant or animal died, it is necessary to estimate.

It was natural for Willard Libby, the inventor of the method, to assume No doubt, he had been taught it from his youth, and he reasoned that living things in the past must have had the same C14 levels as seen in living things in modern times.

Alasdair Beal noted a frailty in estimating the half-life: “It is worth remembering that the half-life of C14 used in the calculations (5,730 years or thereabouts) has been calculated from measurements taken over only a few decades. it would take only slight contamination to affect the result.” Although there is still some uncertainty regarding the precise decay rate of C14, perhaps a more important question is whether the decay rate is consistent over time.

That assumption error causes C14 dates to appear “older” than the actual ages of the specimens dated.

(See the “Assumption Error” section later in this paper for more details.) The decay rate of C14 is estimated by comparing measurements taken in the recent past with C14’s current radioactivity levels.

Radioactive decay causes once-living specimens to lose half of their C14 atoms in about each 5,730-year half-life.

Thus, if the level today is half of what it was estimated to be when the thing died, it is said to be 5,730 years old.

Thus, neutrinos and other sub-atomic particles from nearby supernovas may have had an important effect on radioactive decay.

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