Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback7 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

A contribution to the search for quarks, fundamental physical particles hypothesized by Murray Gell-Mann that carry an electric charge a third or two-thirds that of the proton and arrive on earth via cosmic rays. Considerations of quark chemistry are used in determining an upper limit on their density by a new method, based on the calculation that negative quarks would catalyze fission of heavy elements whether or not strong nuclear forces are important. Quarks de-excited to the lowest orbit could still induce fission in metals having a fission energy such that the process is exothermic. Under these assumptions, one quark would cause fission catalysis equivalent to a 220-watt power source in U-235 and even in U-238, not now useful for power production. A high flux of quarks would destroy nuclear devices and heavy metals, perhaps even bismuth, lead and gold. No such results have been observed in stockpiled fissionable materials, suggesting a low density of quarks at the energies and fluxes available on the surface of the earth.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.