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On search and identification of relatively short-lived superheavy nuclei (Z ≥ 110) by fossil track studies of meteoritic and lunar olivine crystals

Perelygin, V. P. and Bondar, Yu. V. and Brandt, R. and Ensinger, W. and Fleischer, R. L. and Kravets, L. I. and Rebetez, M. and Spohr, R. and Vater, P. and Stetsenko, S. G. (2003):
On search and identification of relatively short-lived superheavy nuclei (Z ≥ 110) by fossil track studies of meteoritic and lunar olivine crystals.
66, In: Physics of Atomic Nuclei, (8), Nauka/Interperiodica, pp. 1569-1573, ISSN 1063-7788, [Online-Edition: http://dx.doi.org/10.1134/1.1601767],
[Article]

Abstract

The main goal of the present work is the search for and identification of relatively stable nuclei of superheavy elements (SHE) (Z>110) in galactic matter by fossil track study of nonconducting crystals from the surface of meteorites and rocks from the lunar regolith. Nuclei of SHE are thought to be the products of nucleosynthesis in explosive processes in our Galaxy (supernova r-process nucleosynthesis and, especially, neutron-star formation, etc.). When accelerated to relativistic energies in the Galaxy, they can produce extended trails of damage in nonconducting extraterrestrial crystals. The lifetime of such SHE in galactic cosmic rays will range from 103 to 107 yr to be registered in extraterrestrial crystals. To search for and to identify the superheavy nuclei in the galactic cosmic rays, it was proposed to use the ability of nonconducting extraterrestrial crystals such as olivines, pyroxenes, and feldspars to detect and to store for many millions of years the trails of damage produced by fast Z≥23 nuclei coming to rest in the crystalline lattice. The track lengths of fast Z≥23 nuclei are directly proportional to Z 2 of these nuclei. The nuclei of SHE produce, when coming to rest in a crystal volume, tracks that are a factor of 1.6–1.8 longer than the tracks due to cosmic-ray Th and U nuclei. To identify the tracks due to superheavy nuclei, calibrations of the same crystals were performed with accelerated Au, Pb, and U nuclei. For visualization of these tracks inside the crystal volume, proper controlled annealing and chemical etching procedures were developed. Since 1980, fossil tracks due to Th and U nuclei have observed and unambiguously identified (1988) by subsequent calibrations of the olivine crystals with accelerated U, Au, and Pb ions. The number of tracks of Th and U nuclei measured in olivine crystals totaled more than 1600, as compared with the prior 30 events. The other approach to identifying SHE in nature is to search for tracks in phosphate crystals from spontaneous fission of Z ≥ 110 nuclei; these produce two-prong and three-prong fission fragment tracks and differ significantly from the tracks from spontaneous fission of 238U and 244Pu nuclei. Extraterrestrial phosphate crystals of lunar and meteoritic origin will be investigated. Such SHE nuclei can survive in crystals of extraterrestrial rocks and produce spontaneous fission tracks, if the lifetime is more than 5×107 yr.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2003
Creators: Perelygin, V. P. and Bondar, Yu. V. and Brandt, R. and Ensinger, W. and Fleischer, R. L. and Kravets, L. I. and Rebetez, M. and Spohr, R. and Vater, P. and Stetsenko, S. G.
Title: On search and identification of relatively short-lived superheavy nuclei (Z ≥ 110) by fossil track studies of meteoritic and lunar olivine crystals
Language: English
Abstract:

The main goal of the present work is the search for and identification of relatively stable nuclei of superheavy elements (SHE) (Z>110) in galactic matter by fossil track study of nonconducting crystals from the surface of meteorites and rocks from the lunar regolith. Nuclei of SHE are thought to be the products of nucleosynthesis in explosive processes in our Galaxy (supernova r-process nucleosynthesis and, especially, neutron-star formation, etc.). When accelerated to relativistic energies in the Galaxy, they can produce extended trails of damage in nonconducting extraterrestrial crystals. The lifetime of such SHE in galactic cosmic rays will range from 103 to 107 yr to be registered in extraterrestrial crystals. To search for and to identify the superheavy nuclei in the galactic cosmic rays, it was proposed to use the ability of nonconducting extraterrestrial crystals such as olivines, pyroxenes, and feldspars to detect and to store for many millions of years the trails of damage produced by fast Z≥23 nuclei coming to rest in the crystalline lattice. The track lengths of fast Z≥23 nuclei are directly proportional to Z 2 of these nuclei. The nuclei of SHE produce, when coming to rest in a crystal volume, tracks that are a factor of 1.6–1.8 longer than the tracks due to cosmic-ray Th and U nuclei. To identify the tracks due to superheavy nuclei, calibrations of the same crystals were performed with accelerated Au, Pb, and U nuclei. For visualization of these tracks inside the crystal volume, proper controlled annealing and chemical etching procedures were developed. Since 1980, fossil tracks due to Th and U nuclei have observed and unambiguously identified (1988) by subsequent calibrations of the olivine crystals with accelerated U, Au, and Pb ions. The number of tracks of Th and U nuclei measured in olivine crystals totaled more than 1600, as compared with the prior 30 events. The other approach to identifying SHE in nature is to search for tracks in phosphate crystals from spontaneous fission of Z ≥ 110 nuclei; these produce two-prong and three-prong fission fragment tracks and differ significantly from the tracks from spontaneous fission of 238U and 244Pu nuclei. Extraterrestrial phosphate crystals of lunar and meteoritic origin will be investigated. Such SHE nuclei can survive in crystals of extraterrestrial rocks and produce spontaneous fission tracks, if the lifetime is more than 5×107 yr.

Journal or Publication Title: Physics of Atomic Nuclei
Volume: 66
Number: 8
Publisher: Nauka/Interperiodica
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elementary Particles and Nuclei
Divisions: 11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Material Science > Material Analytics
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences > Material Science
11 Department of Materials and Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2012 09:46
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1134/1.1601767
Identification Number: doi:10.1134/1.1601767
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