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No. 39: May-Jun 1985

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Anomalous Anomalons

Anomalons are fragments of atomic nuclei that interact with other nuclei more readily than expected. They seem to represent a previously unknown and highly reactive state of nuclear matter. Not all physicists can find them experimentally; and far from all believe they exist. Until now, only large nuclear fragments have been found to be anomalons. But some Indian physicists working in the USSR have bombarded carbon-12 nuclei with carbon-12 nuclei and found anomalously active alpha particles in the debris from the collisions.

Not all of the alphas were anomalous, which makes the situation all the more mysterious. Just what makes a law-abiding alpha particle (a combination of two protons and two neutrons) into a highly reactive anomalon?

(Anonymous; "More Anomalous Nuclear Fragments," Science News, 127:105, 1985.)

Comment. This is the first case of very small anomalons. There does not seem to be much one could do to something as simple as an alpha particle to make it more reactive.

From Science Frontiers #39, MAY-JUN 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987