Radioactive decay speedup at T=5 K: electron-capture decay rate of (7)Be encapsulated in C(60).

Laboratory of Nuclear Science, Tohoku University, Mikamine, Taihaku-ku, Sendai 982-0826, Japan.
Physical Review Letters (Impact Factor: 7.51). 07/2007; 98(25):252501.
Source: PubMed


The electron-capture (EC) decay rate of (7)Be in C(60) at the temperature of liquid helium (T=5 K) was measured and compared with the rate in Be metal at T=293 K. We found that the half-life of (7)Be in endohedral C(60) ((7)Be@C(60)) at a temperature close to T=5 K is 52.47+/-0.04 d, a value that is 0.34% faster than that at T=293 K. In this environment, the half-life of (7)Be is nearly 1.5% faster than that inside Be metal at room temperature (T=293 K). We then interpreted our observations in terms of calculations of the electron density at the (7)Be nucleus position inside the C(60); further, we estimate theoretically the temperature dependence (at T=0 K and 293 K) of the electron density at the Be nucleus position in the stable center inside C(60). The theoretical estimates were almost in agreement with the experimental observations.

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