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Law of conservation of parity

  1. May 10, 2010 #1
    I had read an article about the law of conservation of parity was disproved by a columbian physicist,Chien-Shiung Wu through experimental basis. My doubt is whether there was a flaw in the original theory of the law.If yes, then where was it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2010 #2

    clem

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    Until 1956, the conservation of parity was thought to hold in in all physical interactions.
    In that year, Chien Shung Wu, of Columbia university and two National Bureau of Standards physicists, Drs. Ambler and Hoppes, showed that the parity is not conserved in beta decay of the Cobalt nucleus. The experiment was suggested by T. D.Lee, and
    C. N.Yang for which they received the Nobel prize.
     
  4. May 11, 2010 #3
    But the flaw in the theory...where was it?
     
  5. May 14, 2010 #4
    My understanding is that if the equations for the particular particle have transformations that leave spatially reflected operations invariant with respect to non-reflected operations then parity is always preserved. To support parity violation the equation must have independent solutions.
     
  6. May 14, 2010 #5

    clem

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    The flaw in the theory was just that there was no real basis to expect parity to be conserved.
    If every term in an interaction behaves the same under reflection of coordinates, then parity would be conserved, but there is no reason to require this.
     
  7. May 17, 2010 #6
    It may be that the original tensor formulation of GR and related group, with only 10 parameters, contains an implicit assumption of spatial reflection invariance. The group yielding 16 parameters, which was discovered after an analysis by Einstein and another physicist or mathematician of spin effects in the 1930's was shown to avoid that assumption.
     
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