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No. 22: Jul-Aug 1982

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How can the sun influence chemical reaction rates?

When water is added to bismuth trichloride, a precipitate, bismuth oxychloride, forms. The precipitation rate seems to vary with time, being different from one month to the next. This time variation has been confirmed at many laboratories around the world and is not dependent on any obvious meteorological condition. Instead, some investigators claim to have found a rather good correlation with the sunspot cycle!

(Majorino, Gianfranco, and Zecca, Luigi; "Period Analysis of the Picardi P-Test," Cycles, 33:78, 1982.)

Comment. This precipitation test, called the Piccardi P-Test, has been offered for years by cycle students as proof of extraterrestrial influences on earthly chemistry, including biochemistry. No explanation has been suggested; and one reads about it only in "fringe" publications.

From Science Frontiers #22, JUL-AUG 1982. 1982-2000 William R. Corliss