The following post was submitted by Axil Axil
The overarching theme of this essay is to explain how neutrons are only transmuted from protons as a result of beta decay mediated under the control of the weak force. Nuclear decay requires the weak force and neutron production requires nuclear decay. Nuclear decay resulting in the production of neutrons from protons must occur INSIDE the nucleus.
To start off, quantum mechanics (QM) is a sometimes thing. Sometimes it does this and sometimes it does that. What QM does is based on probability. Nuclear decay is subject to the vagaries of probability. The production of a neutron from a proton is a sometimes thing. Because of the transient nature of beta decay, we cannot depend on nuclear decay to drive the LENR process. LENR must be produced by an absolutely certain cause…a cause that is guarantied to occur. Descriptions of what quantum mechanics does is absolutely adverse to absolute statements. And at the same time, it is nearly impossible to predict how subatomic particles and energy interact to get to the results that are later observed in LENR.
Next, the weak force is one of the four fundamental forces that govern all matter in the universe While the other forces hold things together, the weak force plays a greater role in things falling apart, or decaying. In nuclear physics, beta decay (β-decay) is a type of nucleon rebalancing function in which a proton is transformed into a neutron, or vice versa, INSIDE an atomic nucleus. This process allows the atom to move closer to the optimal ratio of protons and neutrons. Atoms want to have a one for one balance of protons and neutrons INSIDE the nucleus.
The weak force, or weak interaction that is responsible for turning a proton into a neutron is only effective at incredibly short distances. It acts on the subatomic level and plays a crucial role in keeping the number of protons and neutrons balanced in the nucleus or for converting stray neutrons that somehow get outside the nucleus and away from their proton partners into protons.
So it is seen that INSIDE the nucleus, the quark changes its flavor when interacting via the W- or W+. This interaction cannot be observed outside the nucleus because quarks do not exist outside the nucleus. Because of quark confinement, isolated quarks are not observed and the weak force only works in decay processes inside the nucleus. I am ignoring the decay of subatomic particles associated with nuclear processes.
There are many neutrons inside of atoms and they are universally stable when protons and neutrons are paired together INSIDE the nucleus. But if there is a very large mismatch in the number of protons or neutrons INSIDE the nucleus, a neutron can decay into a proton or a proton can become a neutron. When a neutron is outside of the nucleus, it will decay into a proton, positron and a neutrino. But in order for a stray neutron to decay into a proton, positron and neutrino, a very heavy W boson is needed to be born out of the energy of the vacuum to mediate the decay of the neutron through the weak force.
The weak force only manifests itself INSIDE the nucleus or INSIDE the neutron, not in or around the proton or the electron. The weak force is absolutely required to turn a proton into a neutron. In order for the weak force to manifest outside the nucleus, a massive W boson must be born out of the vacuum. Under the rules of virtual particle production, the probability that this huge amount of virtual energy could be borrowed from the vacuum is proportional to the mass of the W boson. Since the W boson is one of the heaviest boson that there can be… it is huge, the probability that the W boson will come into existence unbidden from the vacuum is vanishingly small. And if the W boson were generated from the vacuum, it would only be around for a very short time since its lifetime is inversely proportional to its mass. And if it did spring into existence from the vacuum, it would need to be produced and located within .1 percent of the diameter of the proton* to properly project the weak force during it almost near instantaneously short lifetime.
* ( the weak interaction involves the exchange of the intermediate vector bosons, the W and the Z. Since the mass of these particles is on the order of 80 GeV, the uncertainty principle dictates a range of about 10-18 meters which is about .1% of the diameter of a proton.)
The bottom line, the probability that the weak force affects subatomic particles OUTSIDE the nucleus is almost ZERO.
In beta plus decay, for a proton to become a neutron requires the proton to decay into a neutron, a positron, and a neutrino OUTSIDE of the nucleus. This virtual neutrino must be produced out of the energy of the vacuum just in the vanishingly short time that the W boson is in existence. This probability of two such extremely unlikely event occurring simultaneously is so small that this nearly impossible combination of events can occur together is close to zero.
Now in a 1 megawatt LENR reactor, there needs to be 10^25 LENR reactions more or less happening during each and every second. This implies that the LENR reaction must be a sure thing and absolutely prolific. Because of timing, the range of the weak force, and the large energies involved, the probability of the creation of neutrons outside the nucleus is almost zero. This beta decay OUTSIDE the nucleus therefore cannot be the cause of LENR.
Yes, neutrons are produced by LENR but that creation must be a result of beta decay INSIDE the nucleus after the proton has become a part of the nucleus and the weak force must subsequently re -balance the number of protons and neutrons to keep the nucleus in the zone of stability.
For all who propose the creation of neutrons OUTSIDE the nucleus as the root cause of LENR, they must address how the rules of the standard model, the production of virtual particles from the vacuum and the nature of beta decay and color change through the weak force are changed to allow this neutron production process to move forward with such great intensity and rapidity. Its not just meeting the requirements of energy balance, it’s meeting all the other conservation laws involved with beta decay and obeying all the rules of road for the standard model.