A search for superheavy nuclei tracks in extraterrestrial olivine crystals
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A study is made for the search of superheavy nuclei in Marjalahti, Eagle Station and in other pallasite olivines. The olivine crystals are calibrated for heavy ion track lengths by using heavy ion beams from cyclotrons. The calibration for ultra heavy ions which are presently not available with sufficient energy to produce volume tracks in olivine crystals, is based on Katz and Kobetich model of track formation. The length spectrum of volume tracks, revealed by puncturing them with focussed Nd-glass laser beam, is measured and the abundances of different nuclei groups are calculated. Partial annealing has been used at 430°C for 32 hr which eliminates the interfering tracks due to nuclei of atomic numberS ≤ 50. During the scanning 4 cm3 olivine crystals, about 360 long tracks of uranium group as well as two very long tracks have been found. If these tracks belong to superheavy nuclei, the relative abundance of super heavies is found to be 6 × 10−11 in galactic cosmic rays.
KeywordsMeteorites volume tracks galactic cosmic rays superheavy nuclei
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