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Capture of Orbital Electrons


IN two recent papers1 MØ11er has shown that on the present theory of β-decay for a heavy nucleus emitting positrons of low maximum energy, the ratio Fk/F of the probability of K-electron capture to that of positron emission may be large. On the other hand, experiments by Jacobsen2 for a light nucleus (radio-scandium, W0 = 1·1 – 0·1 MV., Z = 21) show that this ratio is < 1/10. We wish to point out that Jacobsen's result is in agreement with a modified form of the theory3, but that this form makes a definite prediction about the low energy end of β-spectra.

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  1. Høller, Phys. Rev., 51, 84 (1937); Phys. Z. d. Sowjetunion, 11, 9 (1937).

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  2. Jacobsen, NATURE, 139, 879 (May 22, 1937).

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  3. Hoyle, Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc., 33, 286 (1937).

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  4. Fermi, Z. Phys., 88, 171 (1934).

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  5. Darwin, Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 118, 674 (1928).

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  6. Mercier, NATURE, 139, 797 (May 8, 1937).

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HOYLE, F. Capture of Orbital Electrons. Nature 140, 235–236 (1937).

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