F. Cardone, A. Carpinteri, G. Lacidogna


Neutron emission measurements by means of helium-3 neutron detectors were performed on solid test specimens during crushing failure. The materials used were marble and granite, selected in that they present a different behaviour in compression failure (i.e., a different brittleness index) and a different iron content. All the test specimens were of the same size and shape. Neutron emissions from the granite test specimens were found to be of about one order of magnitude higher than the natural background level at the time of failure. These neutron emissions should be caused by nucleolysis or piezonuclear “fissions” that occurred in the granite, but did not occur in the marble: Fe3026 → 2Al1413 + 2 neutrons. The present natural abundance of aluminum (7–8% in the Earth crust), which is less favoured than iron from a nuclear point of view, is possibly due to the above piezonuclear fission reaction. Despite the apparently low statistical relevance of the results presented in this Letter, it is useful to present them in order to give to other teams the possibility to repeat the experiment. 

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Physics Letters A Volume 373, Issue 45, 2 November 2009, Pages 4158–4163