Radioactive decay keeps earth heated up
Washington, Aug 3: Nearly half of the earth's heat comes from the radioactive decay that can practically move mountains and sea floors and cause eruption of volcanoes.
Itaru Shimizu of Tohoku University in Japan and collaborating physicist Horton Smith, associate professor of physics at Kansas State University, made the measurement using the KamLAND neutrino detector in Japan.
Previous research has shown that earth's total heat output is about 44 terawatts or trillion watts, the journal Nature Geoscience reports.
KamLAND researchers found that 29 terawatts come from radioactive decay of uranium, thorium and other materials, meaning more than 50 percent of the earth's heat comes from geoneutrinos (neutrinos from a geological source).
Researchers estimate that the other half of the earth's heat comes from primordial sources left over when the earth formed and from other sources of heat, according to a Tohoku statement.
KamLAND, short for Kamioka Liquid-Scintillator Antineutrino Detector, is an experiment at the Kamioka Observatory, an underground neutrino observatory in Toyama, Japan.
Neutrinos are neutral elementary particles that come from nuclear reactions or radioactive decay. Because of their small size, large detectors are needed to capture and measure them.
"It is a high enough precision measurement that we can make a good estimate of the total amount of heat being produced by these fissions going on in naturally occurring uranium and thorium," Horton Smith said.
Horton Smith was part of a team collecting some of the most precise measurements of earth's radioactivity by observing the activity of subatomic particles -- particularly uranium, thorium and potassium. IANS
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM WORLD
- Mubarak appears in Cairo court, pleads not guilty
- Mubarak - the pharaoh in a cage
- Somali refugees: No food to break Ramadan fast
- Chinese city bans dogs
- New Spider-Man is half-Latino
- New gadget reminds you of extra calories
- 'Musharraf refused to act on Afghan tip off on Osama'
- Sound health depends on minority microbes
- Facebook buys digital publishing company
- UN divided as tanks besiege Syrian cities
- Italy approves draft law to ban burqa
- Radioactive decay keeps earth heated up
- 8 die in Brazil plane crash
- 19 Indians indicted in health care fraud in US
- Desperate, sick Indonesians use railroad ‘therapy’
- Magnetic field exposure linked to asthma risk
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Aug 3: The senior National Conference leader and Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) Sheikh Ghulam Rasool on Wednesday urged the State Commission for Backward Classes to include Batapora More
- Srinagar City
Passengers visiting aerodrome face inconvenience due to mess at Hyderpora
Srinagar, Aug 3: A year long delay to get a vital alternative link to Airport Road macadamized may not be that big an issue for the department which miserably failed to complete 18 month Hyderpora flyover More
Leaders To Be Presented Bangles For Keeping mum
CENTRAL UNIVERSITY ROW
GK NEWS NETWORKJammu, Aug 3: With agitation over the delay in making Jammu Central University functional gaining momentum, National Panthers Students Union (NPSU) on Wednesday called for “social boycott More
- South Asia
Dhaka, Aug 3: Bangladesh is likely to soon hand over detained key ULFA leader Anup Chetia to India, which has been pressing for his repatriation for a long time. Home Minister Sahara Khatun stated More
Cairo, Aug 3: Egypt's once all-powerful President Hosni Mubarak today appeared a frail figure as he was wheeled into a courtroom on a stretcher to face trial on charges of corruption and killing protesters More