Question of Parity Conservation in Weak Interactions

Question of Parity Conservation in Weak Interactions


Description: FIRST EDITION in original wrappers of Lee and Yang's groundbreaking proposal to determine the nature of parity in weak interactions; essential to the modern understanding of elementary particles. ?Following a suggestion made by the experimenter Martin Block, who was his room-mate at a conference in 1956 (at Rochester, in New York), Richard Feynman made the heretical proposal to the meeting that the theta and tau are different states of the same particle, which itself has no definite parity, and that parity is not always conserved. The idea was quickly taken up by Chen Ning Yang and Tsung Dao Lee, who showed that parity is not conserved in the weak interaction; their theory was immediately tested and proved correct by Chien Shiung Wu, and Yang and Lee received the Nobel Prize for their work in 1957- one of the quickest such awards ever made" (Gribbin, Q is for Quantum). "Although physicists still did not understand it, they appreciated the import of the discovery that nature distinguished right from left in its core. Other symmetries were immediately implicated- the correspondence between matter and antimatter, and the reversibility of time... As one scientist put it, 'We are no longer trying to handle screws in the dark with heavy gloves. We are being handed the screws neatly aligned on a tray, with a little searchlight on each that indicates the direction of its head'" (Gleick, Genius). Particle Physics, One Hundred Years of Discoveries: "Proposals to test spatial parity conservation in weak interactions. Nobel prize to T.D. Lee and C.N. Yang awarded in 1957 'for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws, which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles." In: The Physical Review, Second Series, Vol 104, No. 1, pp. 254-258. Lancaster, PA and New York, NY: American Institute of Physics, 1956. Quarto, original printed wrappers; custom box. Owner stamp on front wrapper and closed tear at top of front wrapper; light fading to spine; generally fine.
Artist or Maker: LEE, T.D.; YANG, C.N.
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