Solar Physics

, Volume 267, Issue 2, pp 251–265

Power Spectrum Analysis of Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Decay-Rate Data: Evidence for Solar Rotational Modulation


    • Center for Space Science and AstrophysicsStanford University
  • J. B. Buncher
    • Department of PhysicsPurdue University
  • E. Fischbach
    • Department of PhysicsPurdue University
  • J. T. Gruenwald
    • Department of PhysicsPurdue University
  • D. JavorsekII
    • 416th Flight Test Squadron412th Test Wing
  • J. H. Jenkins
    • Department of PhysicsPurdue University
    • Purdue University Nuclear Engineering
  • R. H. Lee
    • Department of PhysicsUnited States Air Force Academy
  • J. J. Mattes
    • Department of PhysicsPurdue University
  • J. R. Newport
    • Department of PhysicsPurdue University

DOI: 10.1007/s11207-010-9659-4

Cite this article as:
Sturrock, P.A., Buncher, J.B., Fischbach, E. et al. Sol Phys (2010) 267: 251. doi:10.1007/s11207-010-9659-4


Evidence for an anomalous annual periodicity in certain nuclear-decay data has led to speculation on a possible solar influence on nuclear processes. We have recently analyzed data concerning the decay rates of 36Cl and 32Si, acquired at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), to search for evidence that might be indicative of a process involving solar rotation. Smoothing of the power spectrum by weighted-running-mean analysis leads to a significant peak at frequency 11.18 year−1, which is lower than the equatorial synodic rotation rates of the convection and radiative zones. This article concerns measurements of the decay rates of 226Ra acquired at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany. We find that a similar (but not identical) analysis yields a significant peak in the PTB dataset at frequency 11.21 year−1, and a peak in the BNL dataset at 11.25 year−1. The change in the BNL result is not significant, since the uncertainties in the BNL and PTB analyses are estimated to be 0.13 year−1 and 0.07 year−1, respectively. Combining the two running means by forming the joint power statistic leads to a highly significant peak at frequency 11.23 year−1. We will briefly comment on the possible implications of these results for solar physics and for particle physics.


Nuclear physicsSolar structureSolar neutrinos

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010