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Interpretation of Beta-Disintegration Data


FERMI'S original theory of β-decay1 made a definite prediction as to the energy distribution of the electrons emitted from a β-active element. It was found2 that the experimental distribution curves did not agree in shape with this prediction in the sense that the number of electrons of low energy (relative to the upper limit of the spectrum) was considerably greater in the experimental than in the theoretical curves. A modified theory was then proposed by Konopinski and Uhlenbeck (K.U.)3 which introduced in the distribution curve another factor proportional to the square of the momentum of the emitted neutrino. This theory appeared to agree with the facts.

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BETHE, H., HOYLE, F. & PEIERLS, R. Interpretation of Beta-Disintegration Data. Nature 143, 200–201 (1939).

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