Infinite Energy Magazine
Nuclear Alternative: Redesigning Our Model of the Structure of Matter
by William L. Stubbs
ISBN 978-1-4363-2927-9, $19.95 Paperback, 134 pp., Self-Published, 2008
Review by Bill Zebuhr
William Stubbs certainly has the credentials to have valuable ideas about the current state of the physics of elementary particles and how they interact, but since his ideas do not fit the “standard model” he has had difficulties getting these ideas properly reviewed. This is a recurring theme in new science and technology and it is a role of IE to help these new ideas get a fair review.
Stubbs is a retired nuclear engineer with nearly 30 years of experience working for the government and in private industry, including designing and analyzing nuclear reactors and developing computer models of nuclear systems. While studying nuclear engineering he learned the material as presented but had the uneasy feeling that something was not quite right about a lot of the fundamentals. He thought about this for years while working, and gradually developed the theory presented in Nuclear Alternative. This seems to be the pattern of original thinkers in science. They learn the material but have suspicions that all is not right and over a period of years begin to reject the conventional paradigm and work on a new one. Many times the work is not complete enough or is not a real improvement on the current theory, but occasionally it stimulates thinking to help achieve a real change in current theory or is a breakthrough. In this case good observations are made about the problems with current theory and some serious thinking has gone into correcting these problems but conflicts rem
ain with observations.
The first chapter is a good synopsis of current nuclear theory with a skeptic viewpoint and the second chapter is a brief history of the understanding of the atom. These chapters alone make the book worth getting. The next few chapters develop his theory of nuclear binding, which is similar to the theory of covalent bonding in chemistry. This is followed by the application of the theory to develop structural models of many nuclei and then a theory about how they interact to cause nuclear fission and fusion. The result is a simplification compared to the standard model and one that seems to pass the sanity test much better. It follows a rational, fresh path and does not leave the gaping holes and leaps of faith that appear to be required to embrace the standard model.
Stubbs refers to his theory as the alpha beta theory because his beta particle becomes a fundamental particle and the nuclei of most atoms are constructs of alpha particles. In his theory, the beta particle is not an electron as is usually assumed. An electron is constructed of a beta particle and a neutrino and these, with their antiparticles, become the fundamental building blocks of matter. The primary nuclear particles are neutral assemblies of positive and negative beta particles with charge contributed via positive beta particles. Beta particles become the shared particles in the nucleus that behave in a similar way to electrons in chemistry to form the binding force. Since the primary particles are neutral, the large coulomb repulsion forces are eliminated. This eliminates the need for the strong force. Stubbs then discusses the strong force, showing weaknesses in the current theory, and later explains how the weak force can be eliminated leaving only the coulomb force and gravity as fundamental. He builds models of the proton, neutron and then simple nuclei and shows that their masses, binding energies and charge conform to known empirical data.
In the alpha beta theory there is a positive beta particle for every negative particle in the atom and the negative beta particle is the anti-particle of the positive beta particle. This is an explanation for equal amount of matter and anti-matter in the universe, which is something that is hard to explain with current theory. It also allows annihilation to produce energy within the nucleus.
More complex nuclei are assemblies of alpha particles and later chapters describe many examples of these assemblies and the good correlation with known values. There are many ways that alpha particles can join geometrically and a lot of work has gone into finding the geometries that work well and are compared to the known empirical results. He has shown correlation for more than 270 stable nuclei. There are small differences with empirical results and that may indicate some problems.
This system for modeling the nucleus is used to postulate alternative explanations for nuclear fission and fusion. The geometric assemblies of alpha particles take several forms, including circular and linear. These assemblies when rotating present various cross-sectional areas to neutrons that cause fission and other nuclei in fusion. The heavy nuclei are generally linear. A nucleus of alpha particles in a line can spin in three dimensions, creating a spherical volume that is much greater than if it were stationary. A passing neutron then has a much greater chance of interacting with enough force to cause fission. The details of the interaction depend on how close the neutron is to the center of the sphere, which dictates the statistical chance of impact and the momentum of the interaction which is a function of the radius of impact and the speed of rotation. The theoretical fission reactions using the alpha beta theory correlate well with measured results, but it is known that nuclei are generally spherical and the linear assemblage does not conform to this.
The lighter nuclei are generally circular and present smaller cross-sectional areas to other light nuclei in collisions that can result in fusion. These interaction cross-sections along with the propensity to fuse as a function of the shared binding particles that are postulated in the theory dictate the rate of fusion in a given situation. Again the theory seems to accurately predict actual results.
The alpha beta theory presented by Stubbs is a vast simplification and appears more reasonable than the standard model but of course, as he points out, it may be incorrect and certainly incomplete. One of his objects in writing the book is to stimulate thinking on the subject that is not tied to the standard paradigm and he does a very good job of that. I recommend the book to anyone interested in science, but especially anyone who is skeptical of the standard model or simply takes it on faith.