Neutrinos, Radioactive Decay, and More
Radioactive decay is apparently random, independent of its surroundings. Neutrinos seldom interact with matter. A majority of my research under Professor Ephraim Fischbach at Purdue University focuses on a potential interaction between the two.
Self-Induced Decay (SID) Effect
If neutrinos could affect the decay rate of a radioactive sample, then one question is raised: Can decaying samples emitting neutrinos affect their own decay rates? The search for this “self-induced decay” (SID) effect has included studies on small samples of gold (Au-198) spheres, wires, and sheets. I have worked on the phenomenology of the SID effect, allowing for the possibility that neutrinos could interact at a finite distance with the samples from which they are produced. To test for this effect, I designed an experiment that would measure the electric field strength over time of an isolated decaying sample.
Nistor, J., Barnes, V. E., Heim, J., Jenkins, J., Krause, D. E., Santos, A. D., Fischbach, E., Phenomenology of rate-related nonlinear effects in nuclear spectroscopy (Submitted to Phys. Rev. C)
Neutrinos have been considered as signal carriers in communication. Conveniently, they are not scattered and absorbed in the same way that photons interact with their surroundings. Despite this advantageous property, current detection systems for neutrinos are large and expensive structures. Should radioactive samples interact with them, though, it would be much more feasible to communicate through neutrinos. I have considered how these neutrino-nuclide could be used to send signals across distances ranging from kilometers to lightyears.
Santos, A. D., Fischbach, E., Gruenwald, T., Feasibility of detecting extragalactic communications by neutrinos using neutrino-induced fluctuations in radioactive decay (submitted to ApJL)
email: santos30 [at] purdue.edu