Rebuttal of Fermi’s Denial of Nuclear Electrons

The discovery of the neutron by Chadwick in 1932 is discussed in detail. Pauli pointed out that the profile for neutron decay indicates unequivocally that a third particle, in addition to the proton and electron, is involved, which has since been referred to as the antineutrino v . Fermi then argued that the electron could not have been present in the neutron prior to decay. He based his conclusion on the assumption that the laws of physics must be in accord with the Lorentz transformation, which Einstein used as the cornerstone of his Special Theory of Relativity (STR) that he introduced in 1905. On this basis, it should be impossible for a potential to exist which is capable of binding an electron to a proton in such a small space (500 Mev would be required according to Fermi’s calculation). The present work assesses this claim on the basis of recent theoretical developments which make use of the exponentially damped Breit-Pauli-Schrödinger (XPBS) equation. Calculations of this type have been successful is showing that the binding energy of an electron to a positron might be exactly equal to the energy equivalent of an electron and positron (2moec2). To this end it is assumed that the charge-to-mass ratio for v is non-zero. 

It is pointed out that this eventuality would still be consistent with the known extreme penetrability of these particles through matter, as demonstrated by experiments carried out by Reines and Cowan. By assuming a value for this ratio in the 0.5-0.7 a.u. range, it proves possible to obtain a total energy of the neutron relative to its separated particles which is consistent with experimental data (+0.7825 MeV). The corresponding p+e- separation is 3.62α2=10.2 fermi=10.2x10-15 m, which is well within Fermi’s expected range for this quantity.


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