Re: >H This week's fun papers

Anders Sandberg (
16 Jan 1999 17:43:06 +0100

"Justin Jones" <> writes:

> > Decay of protons and neutrons induced by acceleration
> > George E.A. Matsas, Daniel A.T. Vanzella
> >
> >
> > Apparently accelerations can help induce proton decay in the standard
> > model; the authors calculate that for accelerations around 11MeV (I'm
> > not sure how they convert energy into acceleration) the proton
> > lifetime becomes roughly equal to the neutron lifetime. Maybe useful
> > for matter conversion.
> >
> Mr Sandberg do you know if this has any implications in modern physics?
> Photons are supposed to decay after a very long time right? Also, is
> this phenomenon predicted by relativity?

I don't really know, high energy physics is just an area I like to watch but I can't say I'm knowledgeable in it. I think the Standard Model says that protons decay with an extremely long half-life (photons on the other hand are stable, I assume a typo). Relativity doesn't really predict it.

If this effect is true I doubt it will play a large role in current astrodynamics, since extreme accelerations like those needed to force-decay the protons likely only exist very near black holes. I'm not sure if they could occur in neutron stars; it might actually be interesting to calculate the consequences (my guess is that they are still too weak to induce quicker decay).

Likely it is only of theoretical interest, but who knows?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y