Ambient humidity, the overlooked influencer of radioactivity measurements

Stefaan Pommé, Heike Stroh, Timotheos Altzitzoglou, Jan Paepen, Raf Van Ammel, Maria Marouli, Leen Verheyen, M. Unterweger, Ryan P. Fitzgerald, Dennis E. Bergeron, L. Pibida, Ole Nähle, Karsten Kossert, Natasha C. Ramirez, Emma Bendall, Andrew J. Fenwick, Kelley M. Ferreira, John D. Keightley, M. Baker, Sean S. CollinsCarine Michotte, Sammy Courte, Romain M. Coulon, Timothy W. Jackson, Winifred M. van Wyngaardt, Aldo Fazio, Pierino De Felice, Branko Vodenik, Matjaž Korun, Frederic Juget, Claude J. Bailat, Youcef Nedjadi, François Bochud, Thierry Buchillier, Timothy Roy, Raphael Galea, Ivan Kajan, Milton W.V. Van Rooy, P. McGinnity, I. Tucakovic, Iolanda Osvath, Krzysztof Pelczar

    Research outputpeer-review

    Abstract

    When verifying the validity of the exponential-decay law through 137 precise decay rate measurement series at various nuclear laboratories, minor violations have been observed in the shape of annual cycles in the residuals with different amplitudes and phase shifts. The timing and amplitude of these deviations have been compared with local weather data and it appears that ambient humidity is highly correlated with the observed instabilities in these radioactivity measurements. In fact, when compensating the residuals for a linear relationship with absolute humidity in air, most of the annual cycles are no longer statistically significant. As a result, the validity of the exponential-decay law can now be demonstrated with even higher fidelity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number015001
    JournalMetrologia
    Volume61
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2 Feb 2024

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Engineering(all)

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