Regular Article - Experimental Physics
Solar influence on radon decay rates: irradiance or neutrinos?
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Geel, Belgium
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Accepted: 11 January 2019
Published online: 28 January 2019
Radon decay rate data from 2007–2011, measured in a closed canister with one gamma counter and two alpha detectors, were made available for analysis by the Geological Survey of Israel (GSI). Sturrock et al. have published several papers in which they claim that decay rate variations in the gamma counter can be associated with solar rotation. They assert influences by solar and cosmic neutrinos on beta decay and draw unsubstantiated conclusions about solar dynamics. This paper offers an alternative explanation by relating the daily and annual patterns in the radon decay rates with environmental conditions. Evidence is provided that the radon measurements were susceptible to solar irradiance and rainfall, whereas there is no indication that radioactive decay is influenced by the solar neutrino flux. Speculations about solar dynamics based on the concept of neutrino-induced beta decay are ill-founded.
© The Author(s), 2019