The Asenion Solution by Robert Silverberg

"The Asenion Solution"

by Robert Silverberg

Form: Short story

Year: 1989

ID: 57

Publication history:

Comments:

A story written in honor of Isaac Asimov while he was still alive. Near the end of the 21st century, a group of physicists are puzzled and amazed by the sudden appearance of stable plutonium-186, an element which should not exist, let alone be stable. The lowest weight for a stable isotope of plutonium is 244. The problem is, when the impossible substance decays it produces positrons, the antimatter equivalent of electrons, which seek out normal electrons and annihilate them. The scientists calculate that eventually the Pu-186 will destroy the universe if something isn't done. One of them seeks out Ichabod Asenion, a brilliant physicist who had suddenly withdrawn from science to raise bromeliads, for a solution to the problem. All in all, a very Asimovian story.

Other resources:

[None on record]