Friday, December 14, 2007

Are the abundances of heavier elements determined by cold fusion in interstellar medium?

According to the standard model, elements not heavier than Li were created in Big Bang. Heavier elements were produced in stars by nuclear fusion and ended up to the interstellar space in super-nova explosions and were gradually enriched in this process. Lithium problem forces to take this theoretical framework with a grain of salt.

The work of Kervran [1] suggests that cold nuclear reactions are occurring with considerable rates, not only in living matter but also in non-organic matter. Kervran indeed proposes that also the abundances of elements at Earth and planets are to high degree determined by nuclear transmutations and discusses some examples. For instance, new mechanisms for generation of O and Si would change dramatically the existing views about evolution of planets and prebiotic evolution of Earth.

This inspires the question whether elements heavier than Li could be produced in interstellar space by cold nuclear reactions. In the following I consider a model for this. The basic prediction is that the abundances of heavier elements should not depend on time if the interstellar production dominates. The prediction is consistent with the recent experimental findings challenging seriously the standard model.

1. Are heavier nuclei produced in the interstellar space?

TGD based model for cold fusion by plasma electrolysis and using heavy water explains many other anomalies: for instance, H1.5 anomaly of water and Lithium problem of cosmology (the amount of Li is considerably smaller than predicted by Big Bang cosmology and the explanation is that part of it transforms to dark Li with larger value of hbar and present in water). The model allows to understand the surprisingly detailed discoveries of Kervran about nuclear transmutations in living matter (often by bacteria) by possible slight modifications of mechanisms proposed by Kervran.

If this picture is correct, it would have dramatic technological implications. Cold nuclear reactions could provide not only a new energy technology but also a manner to produce artificially various elements, say metals. The treatment of nuclear wastes might be carried out by inducing cold fissions of radioactive heavy nuclei to stable products by allowing them to collide with dark Lithium nuclei in water so that Coulomb wall is absent. Amazingly, there are bacteria which can live in the extremely harsh conditions provided by nuclear reactor were anything biological should die. Perhaps these bacteria carry out this process in their own body.

The model also encourages to consider a simple model for the generation of heavier elements in interstellar medium: what is nice that the basic prediction differentiating this model from standard model is consistent with the recent experimental findings. The assumptions are following.

  1. Dark nuclei X(3k, n), that is nuclear strings of form Li(3,n), C(6,n), F(9,n), Mg(12,n), P(15,n), A(18,n), etc..., form as a fusion of Li strings. n=Z,Z+1 is the most plausible value of n. There is also 4He present but as a noble gas it need not play an important role in condensed matter phase (say interstellar dust). The presence of water necessitates that of Li(3,n) if one accepts the proposed model as such.

  2. The resulting nuclei are in general stable against spontaneous fission by energy conservation. The binding energy of He(2,2) is however exceptionally high so that alpha decay can occur in dark nuclear reactions between X(3k,n) allowed by the considerable reduction of the Coulomb wall. The induced fissions X(3k,n)→ X(3k-2,n-2)+He(2,2) produces nuclei with atomic number Z mod 3= 1 such as Be(4,5), N(7,7), Ne(10,10), Al(13,14), S(16,16), K(19,20),... Similar nuclear reactions make possible a further alpha decay of Z mod 3=1 nuclei to give nuclei with Z mod 2 such as B(5,6), O(8,8), Na(11,12), Si(14,14), Cl(17,18), Ca(20,20),... so that most stable isotopes of light nuclei could result in these fissions.

  3. The dark nuclear fusions of already existing nuclei can create also heavier Fe. Only the gradual decrease of the binding energy per nucleon for nuclei heavier than Fe poses restrictions on this process.

2. The abundances of nuclei in interstellar space should not depend on time

The basic prediction of TGD inspired model is that the abundances of the nuclei in the interstellar space should not depend on time if the rates are so high that equilibrium situation is reached rapidly. The hbar increasing phase transformation of the nuclear space-time sheet determines the time scale in which equilibrium sets on. Standard model makes different prediction: the abundances of the heavier nuclei should gradually increase as the nuclei are repeatedly re-processed in stars and blown out to the interstellar space in super-nova explosion.

Amazingly, there is empirical support for this highly non-trivial prediction [2]. Quite surprisingly, the 25 measured elemental abundances (elements up to Sn(50,70) (tin) and Pb(82,124) (lead)) of a 12 billion years old galaxy turned out to be very nearly the same as those for Sun. For instance, oxygen abundance was 1/3 from that from that estimated for Sun. Standard model would predict that the abundances should be .01-.1 from that for Sun as measured for stars in our galaxy. The conjecture was that there must be some unknown law guaranteing that the distribution of stars of various masses is time independent. The alternative conclusion would be that heavier elements are created mostly in interstellar gas and dust.

3. Could also "ordinary" nuclei consist of protons and negatively charged color bonds?

The model would strongly suggest that also ordinary stable nuclei consist of protons with proton and negatively charged color bond behaving effectively like neutron. Note however that I have also consider the possibility that neutron halo consists of protons connected by negatively charged color bonds to main nucleus. The smaller mass of proton would favor it as a fundamental building block of nucleus and negatively charged color bonds would be a natural manner to minimizes Coulomb energy. The fact that neutron does not suffer a beta decay to proton in nuclear environment provided by stable nuclei would also find an explanation.

  1. Ordinary shell model of nucleus would make sense in length scales in which proton plus negatively charged color bond looks like neutron.

  2. The strictly nucleonic strong nuclear isospin is not vanishing for the ground state nuclei if all nucleons are protons. This assumption of the nuclear string model is crucial for quantum criticality since it implies that binding energies are not changed in the scaling of hbar if the length of the color bonds is not changed. The quarks of charged color bond however give rise to a compensating strong isospin and color bond plus proton behaves in a good approximation like neutron.

  3. Beta decays might pose a problem for this model. The electrons resulting in beta decays of this kind nuclei consisting of protons should come from the beta decay of the d-quark neutralizing negatively charged color bond. The nuclei generated in high energy nuclear reactions would presumably contain genuine neutrons and suffer beta decay in which d quark is nucleonic quark. The question is whether how much the rates for these two kinds of beta decays differ and whether existing facts about beta decays could kill the model.

References

[1] C. L. Kervran (1972), Biological transmutations, and their applications in chemistry, physics, biology, ecology, medicine, nutrition, agriculture, geology, Swan House Publishing Co.

[2] J. Prochaska, J. C. Howk, A. M. Wolfe (2003),{\em The elemental abundance pattern in a galaxy at z = 2.626}, Nature 423, 57-59 (2003). See also Distant elements of surprise.

For details see the chapter Nuclear String Hypothesis of "p-Adic Length Scale Hypothesis and Dark Matter Hierarchy".

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