Modern science denies the possibility of nucleosynthesis at room temperatures, considering this process as part of high temperature physics and plasma physics. However, if you look at the problem from the other side, proceeding from the concepts of low temperature physics and quantum mechanics, then the situation changes dramatically. This article presents the hypothesis of a simple and natural mechanism through which cold nucleosynthesis may be probably the most widespread nuclear process on the Earth.
St. Elmo’s candles are burning
Bulat Okudzhava. «Pirate lyric».
Formulation of the problem.
Answering the question of how the diversity of the Earth’s chemical elements arose, modern science describes exotic astrophysical processes. Initially, as a result of the Big Bang, hydrogen appeared, which is supposed to be at present the most abundant substance in the Universe. Then hydrogen burns out into helium. It is believed that thermonuclear reaction is the source of light for most stars, including our Sun. How could it be otherwise? After helium, however, the situation becomes more complicated. For the next stage, a triple helium reaction is required, proceeding at a temperature above ~1.5·108 K and a density of the order of 6·107 kg/m3. Such conditions can exist only inside the cores of red giants and during a supernova explosion, again, as modern science understands these exotic objects. Science is modestly silent about how the heavier elements occurred. After all that, in some mysterious way, all these elements, having traveled through the Universe, were supposed to form the Earth. All planets of the Solar System as well as meteorites are mostly composed of iron, a substance which is considered now the final stage of stellar evolution.
There are however observations that do not want to fit into such a picture. The general view of the Solar System suggests that it arose as a whole in one local centrally symmetrical bang process, not the condensation of a giant interstellar molecular cloud. All planets rotate in the same plane and in one direction. The radii of their orbits obey the Titius-Bode rule. The age of the Sun is approximately the same as the age of the Earth — 4.6 billion years. The Hadean eon started these 4.6 billion years ago. The oldest material found in the Solar System is dated also to 4.5 billion years. Why is the composition of the central body — Sun and planets so different? Maybe Sun also consists from iron in the middle or something like that?
It is known that the Earth heats up from the inside. This is today explained by the radioactive decay of unstable isotopes: , , and . Interestingly, these unstable isotopes had to somehow survive after a supernova explosion, wander around the Universe, make up the Earth and then successfully heat it somewhere deep in the iron core. But what about the presence in the Earth of short half-life radioactive elements?
If we assume that the mass of Earth is constantly increasing, this perfectly explains modern shape of the continents. This effect is clearly demonstrated if you draw the boundaries of dry land as it was a long time ago on a rubber ball and inflate it. The continents will disperse exactly as they are today. This hypothesis is not considered scientific, since no fantasy can even imagine in general terms how this can even be and where on Earth is so much fresh mass could be created?
The well-known radiocarbon dating method for ancient events is based on the fact that any living organism contains an isotope of carbon . Only after the death of the organism, the content of this radioactive element begins to decrease. Given explanation tells, that appears in the body as a result of breathing. When organism does not breathe, is not replenished. The presence of in the atmosphere is explained by the bombardment of the upper atmosphere by cosmic rays from where radioactive carbon is evenly distributed throughout the biosphere, including the ocean and soil. If we avoid the involvement of extraterrestrial forces such as cosmic rays, we should assume that is the result of the vital activity of living organisms themselves, that is, an ordinary process taking place in any cell and atmospheric radioactive carbon of strictly organic origin. How a cell can create conditions characteristic only for the nuclei of red giants and supernova explosions?
Modern science does not admit the possibility of transmutation of elements at room temperature. Indeed, for the implementation of any nuclear reaction in the modern sense, it is first required to heat the substance to a plasma state and increase the pressure so that the nuclei can overcome the Coulomb repulsion, and then bring them closer together so that strong interaction is involved. It should be remembered that nuclei have dimensions of the order of , which is four orders of magnitude smaller than the size of an atom , and the density of matter in the nucleus is about . An electron is considered a point particle, or rather its size does not exceed . However, its wave function in an atom is comparable to the size of the atom itself. In this sense, we can speak not about the «particle size», but about the characteristic length at which it is able to interact. Point electrons in an atom can effectively interact with hard ultraviolet or soft X-rays with a wavelength of the order of angstrom, , and nuclei only with gamma radiation having a wavelength of the order of ten Fermi and energy of the order of MeV. It is obvious that a living cell is not capable to create radiation of such class, and therefore organic transmutation this way is completely excluded. But if there is some other cold nucleosynthesis mechanism in nature at room temperatures yet, nothing prevents the cell from using this mechanism for its vital activity.
One important observation needs to be made. The position of ancient seas is usually identified by the presence of deposits of calcite and regular sea sand. Existence of life is determined by the presence of sedimentary rocks. The oldest rocks in which traces of life, that is, organic carbon, have been found, are located in the Isua Formation in southwestern Greenland. The age of these rocks is taken from 3.7 to 3.8 billion years. The age of the seas in the Earth is estimated at 4 billion years, and therefore life arose immediately after the emergence of the seas, without many evolutionary curtsies. The ratio of isotopes and in the carbon of living organisms and carbon of inorganic origin is different. This is today explained by the processes of photosynthesis in living organisms.
However, if cold nucleosynthesis was possible, then the formation of sand could be explained by the reaction
Calcium carbonate, of which the shells of ancient mollusks are composed, should have been formed as a result of the reaction
The carbon isotopic shift — in sedimentary rocks, as well as the presence of radioactive in living cells, could be explained as side effects of organic nuclear reactions.
This article presents the hypothesis of a simple and natural mechanism through which cold nucleosynthesis may be probably the most widespread nuclear process on the Earth. Using this mechanism, a living cell is able to autonomously synthesize the chemical elements it needs for life.
Some unexplained phenomena.
Let us recall some still unexplained phenomena which could be related to the mechanisms of cold nucleosynthesis.
High temperature superconductivity cannot be explained by traditional BCS theory. Today, there is no alternative to BCS, and no explanation has been found for HTSC.
Because of numerous observations of ball lightning modern science does not doubt its existence, but the set of its exotic properties and, above all, relative stability of this object do not allow creating an adequate theory.
Much of the behavior of common lightning also defies simple explanation. In the modern sense, ordinary lightning is an electric spark, that is, something analogous to a gas discharge or subject of plasma physics. But why does the stepped leader behave in such an unusual manner, moving by jumping? Modern understanding of lightning includes extraterrestrial interference. Ionization for the passage of the discharge in most popular hypothesis includes high-energy cosmic radiation — particles with energies , forming a wide air shower with a decrease in the breakdown voltage of air by an order of magnitude from that under normal conditions. There is hypothesis, that ball lightning is being created when an ordinary lightning channel breaks in two places. In this case, both types of lightning must be identical in nature. But to this day, it was not possible to create either a stable ball or a step-wise leader under experimental conditions.
It is known that on the cell membrane, which has a thickness of about 10 nanometers, there is a voltage of 0.1 volts. This results in astronomical field strength — ten million volts per meter. This is close to the electric breakdown strength of the membrane, which is 20 – 40 million volts per meter. The explanation that modern physics accepts was expressed at the beginning of last century and is that voltage arises due to the selective transmittance of various ions — for example, and . But if it were so simple, then it would be possible using this principle to create efficient batteries self-charging from ordinary heat, which has not happened yet.
It is known that to increase the sensitivity of laser spectroscopy, the object of study is placed inside the resonator. This experiment is called intracavity laser spectroscopy. In this case, the sensitivity of spectroscopy increases times. How is the interaction of laser radiation with matter fundamentally different when it passes through matter inside and outside the resonator?
The peculiarity of peat fires is that they flare up and spread very slowly, but can last for a very long time — for many months, and sometimes even for several years. Spontaneous combustion of peat is considered a myth, but peat burns underground without oxygen, sometimes even in winter under snow. Peat can burn under a layer of sand, often below the water level. There is currently no real way to extinguish the burning lignin in the landfill. If the burial ground for sheltering the burning lignin collapses, then the smoke reappears. The burial ground does not extinguish smoldering, but only blocks the release of smoke into the atmosphere. How can you not remember the Chernobyl sarcophagus?
A bit of quantum mechanics.
Wave–particle duality is a property of nature, which consists in the fact that any objects can simultaneously exhibit the properties of both classical waves and classical particles. Electromagnetic radiation exhibits wave properties in the effects of diffraction and interference and corpuscular properties in the Photoelectric effect or the Compton effect. An electron is a particle, but there are experiments on electron diffraction. An electron in an atom can only be considered with the help of a wave function. A particle revolving around the nucleus would have to emit, lose its energy and fall on the nucleus.
What is the «the length of a photon» quantum electrodynamics is modestly silent, and quantum mechanics replaces the undefined property of «length» with the more practical term «coherence length». This is the property of several waves to lose mutual coherence when they travel a certain distance, or simply the length at which they could interact with each other. No wave can be absolutely monochromatic, while it would have an infinite length. A strictly localized object represented by delta function on the coordinate axis must have an infinite spectrum or a complete uncertainty of «frequency». But if the wave has a finite size, then it is not monochromatic and is something like a wave packet. The coherence length of the waves can be estimated using the uncertainty relation. The shortest wave packet is observed in the Q-switched mode of lasers capable of generating ultra-short laser pulses containing only few oscillations of the optical field. In such pulses, the «photon length» is comparable to the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation. However obvious, that despite its appearance, the energy of a single photon should remain the same.
Even infrared radiation can exhibit corpuscular properties. The pulse of a powerful IR laser freely pierces through a thick copper coin. In this case, the effect of «light pressure» is manifested when such a characteristic as the «field pulse» is taken into account. For the quantum of the electromagnetic field , where . However, in light of the above, frequency of a photon generally speaking is an undefined quantity and the quantum «wave packets» could have different sizes. Therefore, for the same energy, quantum «energy density» can have different values. The maximum energy density is reached, obviously, in the case of a Gaussian monocycle.
If the momentum of a quantum is inversely proportional to the speed of light, one might ask, what will this momentum be if «speed of light» decreases? Light can only move at the speed of light, and therefore, in theoretical calculations, the field inside the resonator is represented by a superposition of two waves moving in opposite directions at the speed of light. However, from geometrical point of view the result turns out to be «standing wave». Such a wave does not quite stand still, since the molecules that make up the laser active substance move at speeds determined by the molecular kinetic theory, that is, on the order of the speed of sound.
And here I want to make a significant assumption. The increase in the sensitivity of laser spectroscopy when the substance is placed inside the resonator is due precisely to the fact that the «effective size of the photon» or «the length at which the photon interacts with the atom» inside the resonator decreases by the amount with which the speed of light exceeds the speed of sound, that is, by times. In this case, such a photon does not turn into an X-ray in energy, it simply significantly increases the interaction cross-section, literally as if it had the regular dimensions of an X-ray photon. Such a photon still interacts at its resonant wavelength, though taking into account the fact that its dimensions are times smaller. Obviously, in this case, a semi-classical interaction similar to the Compton effect becomes possible. This semiclassical interaction which do not obey the traditional laws of absorption may explain well-known effect of «radiation concentration» observed in some experiments of intracavity laser spectroscopy.
Ball lightning theory.
When considering any lightning, modern science proceeds primarily from the concepts of plasma physics. If the channel of linear lightning is a gas discharge, then the ionization of atoms is possible only after the impact of an electron on the atom, followed by an avalanche of the discharge, a chain reaction. Such a primitive vision of the process obviously cannot explain the complex behavior of the lightning leader and other accompanying observations, let alone ball lightning. No stability could be explained in terms of high-energy and plasma physics without human intervention. Even in operating nuclear power plants, it is not always possible to keep the plasma, and a catastrophe can occur as in Chernobyl and Fukushima. That is why a controlled thermonuclear reaction has not yet been created, and there is no clear explanation for the stability of the Sun.
If, under certain conditions, electromagnetic radiation in the form of a standing wave can exist in the atmosphere, then, as it was suggested above, such radiation should effectively interact with the electrons of the air quasi-classically. In this case, during ionization, electrons leave the nucleus with a minimum momentum, and therefore with large linear dimensions in accordance with the uncertainty principle. The required radiation possibly appears from the condensation of water vapor. In this case, the photons turn out to be coherent in the same way as in an ordinary laser. Due to the lack of a dedicated direction, the radiation should be called «standing». It should also be remembered that in the near-field zone of radiation there is always a standing wave and the coherence of photons is not required.
The relative stability of the lightning channel, as well as ball lightning, can be explained by the fact that these objects are composed of «superconducting electrons.» The word «superconducting» is not quite applicable here, since the effect has nothing to do with any kind of «conductivity», but something like «gluing» electrons together into a single object. The main condition for the stability of the object is determined by the work done by the element to exit the object. If the threshold of interaction with the outside world is higher than the work function, then the object remains stable. Bose particles tend to stick together, as in the superfluidity effect, and two electrons with opposite spins make up one Bose particle. But what about the Coulomb repulsion…? Sorry, but what is the «linear size» of an electron or its wave function if its energy tends to zero? Well, probably more than the size of acoustic phonons on which the BCS theory is based. Ball lightning has no charge and can move without air resistance along with the airplane, since for any interaction this quantum object or any part of it must change its state, but this is impossible, since the energy of such an interaction less than the energy needed for any internal object to leave the system. Electron with wave function or «interaction length about centimeters completely lose ability of electromagnetic interaction.
Why are low-energy electrons able to «stick together» into one object anyway? Let’s try to answer this question with an example of high-temperature superconductivity. To create a substance with HTSC, it is necessary to mix several substances with different crystal lattices in a liquid phase. After fast solidification, the resulting substance will contain coexisted several completely independent crystal lattices inserted into one another. The wave function of a free electron in a crystal lattice generally repeats its properties — period, etc. If there are two or more coexisting slightly different crystal lattices, then as a result of the interference of such wave functions, waves with a period much greater than the period of the crystal lattice should appear. In Doppler effect experiment when one of the mirrors in a laser moves at a constant speed, two light waves with slightly different frequencies are superimposed, and the spectrum analyzer shows the radiation frequencies corresponding to radio waves. By analyzing the spectrum of coherent radiation reflected from a rotating object, one can determine the angular velocity of its rotation.
A wave effectively interacts with a substance only when its wavelength is comparable to the characteristic dimensions in the substance — for example, the period of a crystal lattice. If we consider only interference waves with a very long wavelength, then they will hardly interact with the crystal. Obviously, for such long waves, the concept of Coulomb repulsion is inapplicable. Moreover, if we consider pairs of electrons with opposite spin, making up one Bose particle, then such quasi-waves will tend to coherence — like photons in a laser. When the work function of the Bose condensate exceeds the interaction with matter, high-temperature superconductivity occurs.
The high field strength on the cell membrane can be explained by the ionization of membrane atoms. If an electron leaves the cell, it is lost. If it turns out to be inside the cell, it settles on the inner surface, which is a dielectric. In the case of the mechanism described above, the ionization of atoms does not require hard ultraviolet light or X-rays — rather broad infrared photons in the near radiation zone. The substance of a cell membrane consists of a mixture of lipids and polymers containing many large-scale relatively long-lived infrared levels capable of producing necessary radiation.
If an intensity of external field interacting with an atom is sufficient to ionize it, then lightning or ball lightning may occur. If the intensity is weaker, the effect of «cold fire» or St. Elmo’s fire may occur. It is known that the lights of St.Elmo, according to eyewitness descriptions, appear on sharp objects, for example, the masts of ships before a large storm. The electrons in the atoms will emit in a continuous spectrum, leaving the atoms cold. An example of such a «cold fire» appears even in the bible. If our Sun shines in a continuous spectrum with a color temperature of , this does not mean at all that the matter of the Sun’s surface is heated to such a temperature. It is possible that the real temperature of the Sun’s surface, reflecting its molecular-kinetic properties, is equal to the temperature of the relic radiation, that is . And this is just the thermal temperature of the Universe today, and not a Big Bang history details.
If an electron in an atom is capable of absorbing low-energy photons due to their small wave size based on the geometric properties of standing waves, then it is also capable of emitting photons outside its ordinary spectrum. This is evidenced by the perturbation theory of quantum mechanics. The characteristic time of such radiation should be minimal, proceeding from the zero lifetime of an electron at a non-stationary level and in a near-field radiation zone should exist standing wave. An electron in an atom cannot move, otherwise it would begin to emit. Consequently, the speed of the electron relative to the atomic nucleus is zero up to the thermal, «Brownian» motion of nucleons in the nucleus. For nucleons of an atomic nucleus, a photon emitted by an electron with energy from infrared to ultraviolet should have a geometrical linear size of interaction of the order of size of gamma quanta and therefore be easily absorbed in a semi-classical way. With such a slow excitation of nucleons, as the field inside the nucleus weakens, the linear dimensions, that is, the wave functions of the nucleons or characteristic interaction length should increase. Note, that «interaction length» in strong interactions is much shorter than in case of electromagnetic field and strong interaction has different properties.
The nucleus may well absorb electromagnetic radiation outside its main spectrum of nuclear levels. This happens for example during nuclear magnetic resonance. In order for cold nucleosynthesis to become possible, the nucleus must be heated slowly until the linear dimensions of the nucleons or their «interaction length» can reach a level when strong attraction become weaker than Coulomb repulsion. This concerns poorly developed strong interaction perturbation theory. The resulting object becomes electrically neutral throughout its volume, so nothing prevents two atoms in the nitrogen molecule from merging into one silicon atom. Cooling of such an atom will also be gradual — due to the emission of low-energy infrared photons with a temperature of surrounding space. There will be no gamma quanta and any type of radiation there.
Now, spontaneous combustion of peat and continuous burning of lignin could be explained. Lignin, which makes up a significant percentage of peat matter has a large-scale geometric structure containing relatively long-lived infrared energy levels, that allows spontaneous emission similar to one in a laser. As in a laser, this is a very short and broadband pulse with standing wave properties which is instantly absorbed. A quantum of such radiation capable to interact semi-classically with the atoms of nitrogen molecules located in the soil, exciting electrons. Electrons transfer radiation energy from lignin to nucleons in the nucleus until two nitrogen atoms merge into a silicon atom. Energy yield of this fusion reaction externally manifests itself as «burning of a peat» or «burning of a lignin». The word «burning» is usually defined as «oxidation by oxygen», but in this case there is no oxygen and there is no «oxidation» — only strictly nuclear smoldering of matter as a result of simple fusion reaction:
The energy output of this nuclear reaction is:
For comparison, the fission of one nucleus of releases 202.5~MeV ( ) inside the nuclear reactor. That corresponds to 19.54~TJ/mol, or 83.14~TJ/kg.
Obviously, getting cheap and absolutely ecologically clean energy directly from the air does not require oxidation of hydrocarbons polluting the atmosphere as well as expensive and extremely dangerous uranium reactors.