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Nuclear fallout.

"Hurrying a nuclear identity switch" (SN: 10/9/04,p. 238) dealt with the alteration of the nuclear decay rate of beryllium-7. I believe you may have misinterpreted the researchers to be saying they had found "the largest such artificial hastening of an atom's decay rate ever observed." Whereas you report the authors observing a 0.83 percent change, I published a paper in Physical Review Letters in 1965 that demonstrated a 3.6 percent change in the decay rate of the niobium-90 meta-stable state.

JOHN A. COOPER, PORTLAND, ORE.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Cooper, John A.
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Dec 11, 2004
Words:90
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