Solar Neutrinos Behaving Badly

The movie 2012 was filled with some of the most amazingly bad science this side of The Core… But it was a very entertaining movie.

The premise was built around a sudden change in the way neutrinos interact with matter. This is simply impossible… Or at least I thought it was impossible…

Follow up on the solar-neutrinos-radioactive decay story
Posted on August 27, 2010 by Anthony Watts

Getting out of the solar core, neutrinos are speed demons, photons are slugs. h/t to Leif Svalgaard for the graphical annotation inspiration. Solar core image from NASA.

Via slashdot:

A couple of days ago, WUWT carried a story that was rather shocking: some physicists published claims they have detected a variation in earthly radioactive decay rates, big news by itself, but the shocker is they attributed it to solar neutrinos.

The findings attracted immediate attention because they seemed to violate two known basic facts of physics:


Discover Magazine’s blog 80beats followed up on the initial story buzzing around the web this week and interviewed several physicists who work on neutrinos. The neutrino-affecting-radioactive decay theory is being questioned.


“My gut reaction is one of skepticism,” Sullivan told DISCOVER. The idea isn’t impossible, he says, but you can’t accept a solution as radical as the new study’s with just the small data set the researchers have…


Watts Up With That?

1. Radioactive decay is a constant

2. Neutrinos very rarely interact with matter and are hard to detect when they do.
For example: trillions of the neutrinos are zipping through your body right now. So why would they interact with radioactive elements in a more detectable way?

I think we’re still a long way from the solar neutrinos’ new behavior causing the Earth’s crust to totally destabilize… Well, at least I hope we are.

Really bad extinction events tend to happen after major flood basalt eruptions…

Figure Caption: Extinction rate versus time (continuous line, blue field) (multiple-interval marine genera, modified from Sepkoski, 1996) compared with eruption ages of continental flood basalts (red columns). Three of the largest mass extinctions, the Permo-triassic, Triassic-Jurassic and the Cretaceous-Tertiary, correspond with the eruptions of the Siberian Traps, the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, and the Deccan Traps, respectively. Three oceanic plateaus, the Caribbean (CP) Kerguelen (KP), and Ontong Java (OJP) are included. Modified after White and Saunders (2005).


Major flood basalt events seem to occur almost as if they were cyclical.  It’s almost as if plate tectonic activity periodically accelerates.  My wife, Elizabeth, and I wondered if that cyclicity might have a celestial or astrophysical driver… Maybe an association with our solar system’s transits across the spiral arms of the Milky Way.

The Deccan Traps eruptions were coincident with a spiral arm crossing, a period accelerated oceanic crust production and the K-T extinction…

Atmospheric CO2, temperature, oceanic crustal production, flood basalt eruptions, extinction rates and our solar system's transit through the spiral arms of the Milky Way since the end of the Jurassic.


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