Carbon dating nuclear physics

Holt says that his team’s approach is not at odds with many-body calculations, but agrees that more work needs to be done.

A peculiar balance of fundamental forces in the nucleus of the atom may keep it stable for thousands of years longer than expected — thus making radiocarbon dating possible.Although experimental evidence is still not definitive, some say that the high density of subatomic particles in the nucleus has a net effect on mesons, causing them to weigh less than they would in a vacuum.Beginning with a simple potential governing the interaction between pairs of nucleons, theorist Jeremy Holt of the State University of New York in Stony Brook and his colleagues used a postulate called Brown-Rho scaling to adjust for changes in meson mass.Now, researchers say that the difference may come down to a still-debated idea about how much mesons weigh in atomic nuclei.Mesons serve as carrier particles for the strong nuclear force that keeps the protons and neutrons, collectively called nucleons, together.

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