The Experimental Clarification of the Theory of beta-Decay

Authors(s):E J Konopinski, L M Langer Publication:Annual Review of Nuclear Science Publication Date:December 1953 Publisher: Annual Reviews Citation:Annual Review of Nuclear Science 1953 2:1, 261-304 Link:

Fermi advanced his successful theory of p-decay in 1934. It has since then undergone development in which two general directions may be dis­cerned. One has been a broadening of the scope of the theory, the other a narrowing of its initial ambiguities.

This review demonstrates that it is possible to arrive at a unique law of β-decay, consistent with Fermi's essential criteria, from data on β-decay. Fermi's work left the law open to construction out of arbitrary amounts of five types of interaction : S, V, T, A, and P. The data shows that the correct β-coupling must be a combination of S, T, and P, in proportions for which there is only a rough measure so far. Not only are these the only components which the β-interaction may contain but each of the three is necessary.