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Nuclear Fission and Volcanic Periodicity

It’s my belief that uranium, concentrated in the Earth’s crust, gradually sinks towards the core-mantle boundary where it occasionally concentrates to the point where a fission chain reaction occurs.  At that point, increased heat and convection disperses it.

If this were not the case, volcanic plumes would not originate at the core-mantle boundary because there is no ongoing source of heat at the core.  The core itself is mostly iron in which uranium and it’s oxides don’t readily dissolve.  So the core does not have heat from ongoing radio-active decay or fission.

We know fission must be taking place because He3 is present in mid-ocean rift gases.  If the only source of heat were normal radio active decay and not a fission chain reaction, we would find only He4 since He3 is not produced in normal radioactive decay.

Quantum Mechanics: MIM Interpretation

I’ve been a proponent of the Many Worlds interpretation of Quantum Mechanics for years because it best agrees with experimental evidence, and it makes intuitive sense.

I am better able to wrap my mind around the idea that an infinite number of parallel universe exist than I am the idea that our observation is required to bring something out of quantum superimposition into determined reality.

In my view, the Copenhagen interpretation is actually kind of an epiphenomena of the many worlds interpretation.  If the observer in the act of observing an event that can go two ways and does, the observer bifurcates at that point along with the rest of the universe, and so each observer that results saw what happened when the even went a particular direction.

In the traditional view of the Many Worlds interpretation, once that bifurcation takes place, each child universe is totally unaware of the other.

In the new Many Interactive Worlds interpretation there is an interesting rub, the two universes do continue to interact on a quantum level.

This makes perfect sense to me as I would expect that every particle in a given child universe would be quantum entangled with it’s brother in the other child universe, and so quantum interaction between these many worlds would be expected.

There are a couple of interesting ramifications.  The first is that this theory might be testable by designing a test that exploits expected interactions.

The second interesting ramification is that this universe may not be as deterministic as many would like to believe because it is not a closed system given this interaction with parallel worlds.  I think there is much observational evidence of this.

It also suggests a quantum immortality, and I wonder if it’s not responsible for some of the Deja Vu phenomena.  If we come to a point of our death, the event leading to our death is another decision point, it could go one way or the other, in this universe we die, in the parallel universe that bifurcated off at that point we live, and so this tree of life/death universal bifurcation could go on infinitely and in that sense, somehow in some parallel world we’d always exist.

Anyone who is familiar with resonance has to wonder how resonances might cross the world boundaries and by that affect things in different worlds, especially in the realms of thoughts and emotions since quantum level effects seem to be involved in the operation of our synapses.

Visual Temporal Resolution

I’ve read that the rod receptors have a temporal resolution on the order of 50-100ms while the cone receptors have a resolution of around 10-15ms, therefore rods should only be able to detect an intermittent light source flicker of 10-20 HZ while cones should be able to detect intermittent light source flicker of 66-100 Hz.

Since the fovea, that part of the retina that is more densely packed near the center of your vision, contains more cones and few rods, one would think it would be able to detect flicker at higher frequencies than the periphery but this is contrary to my experience.

In the center of my vision I can perceive flicker at 60Hz marginally at 70Hz, not at all at 75Hz, under fairly bright lighting conditions, but at the periphery I can sometimes see the 120Hz flicker of fluorescent lighting and easily see the flicker of tube monitors even at 75Hz.

This seems pretty much backwards from what I would expect given the normal temporal response of rods and cone cells and their populations in the fovea and periphery.

Radio from Parallel Universes

I’ve heard it postulated that parallel universes could potentially interact with our own via gravitational forces only.

It occurred to me however that if they could interact gravitationally, then there is a way they could interact electromagnetically indirectly.

Here is my thought in a nutshell; in universe A, a strong radio source exists.  It causes an oscillation of electrons in a conductor of finite length such that the concentration of electrons in any one part of the conductor varies with time according to the electromagnetic field.

The electrons have mass, therefore their movement sets up a slight gravitational oscillation.

That gravitational oscillation effects matter in universe B, some of which consists of charged particles.  Those oscillating charged particles setup an electromagnetic field in universe B.

The net effect is some portion of an oscillating magnetic field makes it from universe A to B indirectly.  Whether it’s enough to be detectable remains a question.

Meteors

There were four significant meteor events last night.  One meteor was seen from half a dozen states which indicates that it grazed the atmosphere rather than descending vertically.  A significant meteor event is defined as an event reported by 25 or more people.

There have been 13 events this month, where the average is 4-5.  This may be due in part to people anticipating the arrival of comet Ison and the big event over Russia recently that injured more than 1000 people and thus more people looking up.

I can’t help but wonder though if that is all it is, or if when something dislodges an object from the Kuiper belt and it becomes a comet, does it not also dislodge some smaller stuff into a similar trajectory?

Whatever be the case, there have been some spectacular events for people to see if they are in the right place at the right time.

Big Bang

Those of you who know me know I’m not a big fan of the big bang theory.  There are way too many fudge factors to make it even come close to working and still there is data that doesn’t fit into the theory.  Here is yet another example:

 

Molten Salt Reactors

Someone recently posted a comment to an article I had posted about a particular nuclear battery being so much bunk asking why I hadn’t mentioned nuclear salt reactors.

This is an interesting technology that properly configured has the potential to make nuclear power viable in the long term without so many of the problems present in pressurized and boiling water reactors.

There are four major problems with the nuclear industry as it exists.

  1. Conventional pressurized water and boiling water reactors are prone to meltdown and the release and widespread dispersion of radioactive materials.
  2. Fissile materials, especially plutonium 239, can readily be diverted from the fuel cycle of conventional reactors which breed an amount of Pu-239 from the absorption of a neutron by U-238.
  3. Because processing is done off-site, there exists the possibility of diversion of radioactive materials to terrorist uses such as dirty bombs.
  4. The radioactive waste produced by conventional reactors is a 100,000 year problem.  No civilization exists for long enough to contain that, nor is any repository technology sufficient.

Molten salt reactors address the first problem by having a plug in the bottom of the reactor that melts when temperatures exceed a safe threshold allowing the fuel to drain into a tank that is sufficiently large that the fuel disperses to the point where the chain reaction can’t be sustained, the molten salts solidify, and the radioactive elements are contained.

There is also an inherent safety factor in that molten salt reactors operate with a negative temperature coefficient and there are actually two factors that contribute to this.  First is that the thermal expansion of the salts takes the fissile nuclei farther apart from each other reducing reaction rates.  The other thing that contributes to a reduction in reaction rates is Doppler shifting of the neutron energies due to the thermal motions broadening the neutron energy spectrum.  Only neutrons of the right energy are efficiently absorbed maintaining the chain reaction.

Unlike pressurized water reactors that have to be constantly maintained at the right reaction rates with the use of neutron absorbing control rods, these reactors have a negative temperature coefficient, that is to say as the temperature increases the reaction rate naturally decreases, that tends to stabilize them.

Molten salt reactors can be operated using fuels such as thorium (actually uranium-233 bread from thorium) or the transuranics (transuranics can only make up a fraction of the fuel because of neutron budget issues) from the waste of conventional reactors producing a mix of isotopes not suitable for the production of bombs.

On-site reprocessing eliminates the need to transport high-level waste and the potential for terrorist diversions or accidents in the process of transporting those wastes.

Because molten-salt reactors are capable of burning transuranics, they leave only the much shorter term fission products as wastes, turning a 100,000 year problem into a couple of hundred year problem, and even there, there are only a couple of long-lived isotopes which could be destroyed in an accelerator turning even that couple hundred year problem into a couple decade problem.

Conventional boiling water reactors effectively extract less than .7% of the Uranium fuels energy potential, molten-salt reactor systems can extract up to 98%, and they can use thorium fuel cycles which have little proliferation potential and thorium is about 4x as plentiful as uranium in the Earth’s crust.

The original Oak Ridge design used graphite as a moderator and that was bad because hot graphite exposed to air equals Chernobyl.  Newer designs have eliminated the need for graphite in their design.

All in all, I believe this is a technology that could make nuclear not only viable for the long term but would allow us to clean up some of the mess we’ve created with existing reactors.

Neutrino Causing Nuclear Reactions?

I’ve been a fan of Richard Feynman in that he is one of the few mainstream scientists that actually insisted that theories be consistent with the data, but also because he seemed so capable of thinking a problem through.  Recently, I’ve been giving thought to his method of diagramming nuclear reactions, and one aspect of those diagrams is that they’re all reversible, and so are the reactions they represent.

This got me thinking about the role that neutrinos often play in nuclear reactions.  If you fuse four hydrogen nuclei together (protons) to create a helium atom, two of these have to become neutrons in the process.  Anytime protons convert to neutrons or the opposite, neutrinos are involved.  In these reactions they are given off.  But Feynman also suggests that these reactions can be played backwards, and in that case you’d have to have neutrinos coming into the reaction not leaving.  That lead me to think that neutrinos must be capable of causing a nuclear reactions that wouldn’t otherwise happen.  At first I wanted to say neutrino catalyzed reactions, but that really wouldn’t be correct because in this case they are consumed.

Never the less, we’ve been going through a period of anomalous activity in the solar system, not only is the Earth heating up, but so is Mars and every other planet that we can measure the temperature.  The Earth is not only heating up on the surface, but there is evidence that things deep below are in flux as well.  The rate that the magnetic field is wandering has increased dramatically over the last hundred years.  There was a year a couple of decades ago where we had a serious of deep Earthquakes around the globe that exceeded the statistical norm for Earthquakes at depth by about a factor of ten.  This, by the way, seems to have recently been expunged from the record and I have to wonder why.  Anyway, the point is things are happening on this planet as well as others and our Sun, all at the same time, with no obvious connection.

I find myself wondering if neutrinos, even though the react with ordinary matter very little, might be responsible for increasing heat in planetary bodies by allowing nuclear reactions to happen that require them as one of the reactants, and if such nuclear systems might have a greater cross-section to neutrinos than ordinary matter making them a possible avenue to a more efficient and possibly selective neutrino detector.