Paulis Hypothesis of Beta Decay

Pauli introduced concept of third particle, a neutral particle which gets emitted in β⁻decay. This particle has the generic name of Neutrino.

The total energy is shared by 3 particles

The recoil nucleus
The Electron
The Neutrino

Because of its comparatively great mass, the recoil energy of Nucleus is very small and nearly all Kinetic Energy is shared between the Beta particle and the Neutrino.

In addition to laws of conservation of charge and energy, we must also apply the laws of conservation Linear and angular momentum to every nuclear process. Taking our reference system as the parent nucleus at rest, the vector sum of Linear Momenta of the recoil nucleus, the beta particle and neutrino must be zero.

To conserve angular momentum in β⁻decay, we note that parent and daughter nuclei are isobars; i.e. they have equal number of nucleons. Hence, the total change in nuclear angular momenta will be either zero or an integral multiple of ℏ.

The beta particle has an intrinsic spin angular momenta of 1/2ℏ.The vector sum of angular momenta of Neutrino and beta particle will be either zero or one in units of ℏ.

The present accepted theory, which is supported by experimental evidence shows that there are two types of neutrino or two components of Neutrino. It has been found that the axis of spin of neutrino is parallel to its direction of motion; one type spins according to the left hand rule with respect to its direction of motion as its axis, the other component spins according to right hand rule.

The first type is usually called neutrino represented by symbol 𝜈, the second type is called antineutrino.
The spin vector of neutrino points opposite to direction of its motion.

The spin vector of anti neutrino points in the direction of its motion.

Another way of saying this is that the helicity of neutrino is negative and that of anti neutrino is positive or one has right handed helicity and other has left handed helicity.

Nature of Orbits for a body projected from earth with different speeds

Minimum velocity required for an object to orbit around the Earth  is  Vs =√gR = 8KmSec⁻¹

Let Ve be the escape velocity  required for a body to escape Earth's gravitational field.

Let if  'V' be velocity with which a body is projected from Earth.


  1. V < Vs → body falls to ground
  2. V=Vs → body rotates round the Earth in circular orbit closer to surface of Earth.
  3. Vs < V < Ve → body revolves in elliptical orbit
  4. V=Ve → body just escapes from Gravitational Field
  5. V>Ve → body moves in interstellar space with velocity equal to √❲V²-Ve²❳
  6. V<Ve → Total Energy of body is Negative 
  7. V=Ve → Total Energy of body is Zero.

Pair Production - Conversion of Radiation into Matter

The cloud chamber experiments revealed that a Photon can give up its energy to materialize as two electrons of opposite charge. Certainly the Photon must have an energy of atleast 2mₑc² in order to produce a pair.

No photon, regardless of its energy, can produce a pair in a perfect vacuum.

Pair Production is strictly an Electromagnetic Process. It seems to occur mostly in the intense electric field near the nucleus rather than inside the nucleus.

At higher energies or with heavy targets it is typically reasonable to ignore the energy transferred to target, so that nearly all energy from Photon goes to electron-positron pair.

Energy equation

h𝜈 → 2mₑc²+E1+E2

holds approximately.

 mₑc²rest energy of each electron

 E1, E2 → Kinetic Energies of particles

 The heavier the target, the more nearly the equation is satisfied. 

Pair Production can occur in the vicinity of an electron.

Pair Annihilation

Positron and Electron coalesce to produce atleast two photons

e⁺ + e⁻→2𝛾

Annihilation into three or more Photons is possible but less likely. Each extra photon tends to supress the rate of annihilation by a factor of order of magnitude of fine structure constant 1/137.

A Positron moves thru matter and forms ion pairs giving up energy in the process. There is about 2% chance that a Positron will hit an electron and annihilate.

But more likely output is that Positron will stop and become attracted to an electron. The atom formed by these two particles is called Positronium.

The Positron-Electron system drops into successively lower energy states, emitting (low energy) photons, until it arrives in ground state.