FHM DEMO

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In December 1952, a few weeks after my birth, my father Stanley Ruby co-authored a scientific paper that at first seemed to settle a question in nuclear physics—the form of the so-called Lorentz invariant governing beta decay interactions. The experiment's result favoring the tensor invariant as dominant in the beta decay of Helium-6 was widely cited by physicists developing a theory of the weak nuclear force. 

But by 1957, the result was increasingly seen as out of step with the evolving theory. It was openly challenged by Richard Feynman among several prominent physicists. My father's Columbia University academic sponsor, the formidable Professor C.S. Wu, withdrew her support. In January 1958, my father and his co-author formally retracted their finding.

What went wrong—and why? How did it affect my dad's later career? To learn the answers, I dug deep in the scientific literature and into the culture of the Columbia University physics department. 

I have yet to do a full writeup of my findings but my work in progress is presented here, a database of annotated and excerpted publication citations relevant to the so-called Ruby-Rustad He-6 Recoil Experiment.