• John M. Blatt
  • Victor F. Weisskopf


The evidence that beta-rays are identical with ordinary electrons and positrons is overwhelming. The charge-to-mass ratio, e/m, agrees with the one for electrons within experimental error (Bucherer 09, Neumann 14, Zahn 37, 38) and so does the charge itself. The occurrence of orbital electron capture as an alternative process to β+-emission shows that the nucleus can accept an ordinary atomic electron in order to effect the transition. This is taken as confirmation of the fact that the β+-emission itself is emission of an ordinary positron (which is equivalent, in the hole theory, to acceptance by the nucleus of an electron in a negative-energy state). Positrons emitted by nuclei produce annihilation quanta upon encountering ordinary electrons, whereas electrons emitted by nuclei do not get captured into occupied orbits, thereby showing that they are identical with the electrons in those orbits (Goldhaber 48a).


Matrix Element Angular Momentum Selection Rule Orbital Angular Momentum Angular Correlation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Blatt
    • 1
  • Victor F. Weisskopf
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied MathematicsUniversity of New South WalesKensingtonAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsMassachesets Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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