The maximum neutrino flux in the sample in their experiments was several times greater than the flux of neutrinos from the sun. The researchers followed the gamma-ray emission rate of each source for several weeks and found no difference between the decay rate of the spheres and the corresponding foils.
The unswerving regularity of this decay allows scientists to determine the age of extremely old organic materials—such as remains of Paleolithic campfires—with a fair degree of precision. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment.
The decay of uranium-238, which has a half-life of nearly 4.5 billion years, enabled geologists to determine the age of the Earth.
Recently, however, researchers at Purdue University observed a small (a fraction of a percent), transitory deviation in radioactive decay at the time of a huge solar flare.
Data from laboratories in New York and Germany also have shown similarly tiny deviations over the course of a year.
Pursuing this analogy further, one would expect that a new basket of apples would have no oranges but that an older one would have many.
In fact, one would expect that the ratio of oranges to apples would change in a very specific way over the time elapsed, since the process continues until all the apples are converted. A particular rock or mineral that contains a radioactive isotope (or radio-isotope) is analyzed to determine the number of parent and daughter isotopes present, whereby the time since that mineral or rock formed is calculated.
Most elements exist in different atomic forms that are identical in their chemical properties but differ in the number of neutral particles— neutrons—in the nucleus.
For a single element, these atoms are called isotopes.
This has led some to suggest that Earth's distance from the sun, which varies during the year and affects the planet's exposure to solar neutrinos, might be related to these anomalies.