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Published October 15, 1947 | public
Journal Article Open

The conservation of momentum in the disintegration of Li8


Apparatus for the introduction of radioactive materials into a cloud chamber has been employed to investigate the conservation of momentum in the β-decay of Li8 to Be8, which subsequently breaks up into two α-particles. The projection on the plane of measurement of the angle between the two α-particles is a measure of one component of the recoil momentum of the Be8. Additional information is obtainable from the momentum of the electron but relatively few cases occur where both α-particles and the electron are in the plane of the cloud chamber. The Li8 is produced by bombarding with deuterons a thin deposit of LiOH on beryllium or gold foils. The mean squares of the observed momenta relative to the maximum possible momenta were 0.247 (Be foil) and 0.349 (Au foil). Corrected for scattering and other errors these become 0.197±0.025 and 0.207±0.034, respectively, the probable errors quoted being statistical in origin. The weighted mean, rounded off to two figures, is 0.20±0.02. This value is roughly twice that obtained taking into account only the emitted electrons, and approximately equal to that calculated for an electron and neutrino emitted with no preferred angle of ejection between them.

Additional Information

©1947 The American Physical Society. Received 11 July 1947. This work was carried on under contract with the Office of Naval Research.


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