Theory of Beta Decay: An Exposition and a History

Authors(s):S. B. Treiman and Lawrence M. Langer Publication:Science Publication Date:December 16, 1966 Publisher: AAAS Citation:Science, 16 Dec 1966, Vol 154, Issue 3755, p. 1432 Link:

The phenomenon of nucleear beta decay reflects the workings of interactions which are very weak on the cale of those forces which determine the structure of the nucleus itself. Precisely for this reason beta decay provides an admirable probe for the study of nuclear structure. On the other hand, for those whose interest lies with the weak interactions in themselves, nuclei are admirable objects only insofar as they undergo beta disintegration. A generation ago, weak-interaction physics was coextensive with nuclear beta-decay physics; today the subject ranges over a much wider domain.

The Theory of Beta Radioactivity. E. J. Konopinski. Oxford University Press, New York, 1966. 413 pp., illus. $12.; Beta Decay. C. S. Wu and S. A. Moszkowski. Interscience (Wiley), New York, 1966. 410 pp., illus. $16.


The entire book, from the first chapter's historical introduction to the detailed mathematical exercises in the appendices, radiates a warmth and excitement that are not very often found in such a technical and specialized volume.