Searching for modifications to the exponential radioactive decay law with the Cassini spacecraft

Research paper by Peter S. Cooper

Indexed on: 24 Sep '08Published on: 24 Sep '08Published in: Astrophysics


Data from the power output of the radioisotope thermoelectric generators aboard the Cassini spacecraft are used to test the conjecture that small deviations observed in terrestrial measurements of the exponential radioactive decay law are correlated with the Earth-Sun distance. No significant deviations from exponential decay are observed over a range of 0.7 - 1.6 A.U. A 90% Cl upper limit of 0.84 x 10^-4 is set on a term in the decay rate of Pu-238 proportional to 1/R^2 and 0.99 x 10^-4 for a term proportional to 1/R.