Symmetry of parity: Mistake in the experiment?

In summary, the YouTube video from Veritassium discusses an experiment conducted by Prof. Chien-Shiung Wu which proves that parity is not symmetric. The experiment involved observing the emission of electrons from Co60 atoms with synchronized spin. The video also explores the concept of spin and its relationship to symmetry. The listener is confused about the results of the experiment and presents an analogy with a fan in front of a mirror. However, the analogy does not accurately reflect the quantum mechanical property of spin and the difference between the "real" and "mirror" fan. This difference is the main point of the experiment.
  • #1
Whatif42
1
0
TL;DR Summary
According to an experiment of Prof. Chien-Shiung Wu parity is not symmetric. A thought experiment of mine contradicts her well proven theory. Where is my mistake?
Recently I saw this YouTube video from Veritassium about CPT -Symmetry:



In this video an experiment of Prof. Chien-Shiung Wu is presented, which has proven that parity is not symmetric, by observing the emmition of electrons from Co60 atoms with synchronised spin. After thinking about this for a while I am very confused, because either this claim an the results of the experiment are wrong, which I don't want to believe or I have made a fundamental misconception.

The video explains the events in a mirrorworld with a mirror. As explained correctly in the video a mirror does invert the z axis of an object (Min 2.54 in the Video). But why is the emmiting direction of the electrons not inverted as well on the z axis? Respectively the spin mirrorimaged?

Lets take a fan for visualisation and place it in front of a mirror and let's presume as well the spin of the fan resembles the spin of a radioactive Co atom in the experiment and the airstream resembles the emmited electrons.

These "electrons" would always flow in the direction of the mirror. No matter if you are in the mirror or the real world.

If I go further, away from the fan to a more theoretical assumption, from my point of understanding, time moves backwards in the mirrorworld as well. As a result of this, it seems obvious, that spin and particle flow are reversed in such a mirrorworld. The spin would be opposite and the electron would be attracted to the Ni60 and not emmited from the Co60.

I would be very happy, if somebody with more knowledge and a better understanding of this topic could reply and help me solve my problem.

Thank you in advance
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Whatif42 said:
lets presume as well the spin of the fan resembles the spin of a radioactive
That’s where you’re going wrong - the quantum mechanical property is called “spin” for historical reasons, but is nothing like the classical rotation of a macroscopic object.

You might want to give the Wikipedia article on this experiment a try: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_experiment
 
  • #3
There a problem with your analogy, the fan is not invariant under parity, i.e. the "real fan" and the "mirror fan" are different and therefore, if I know the properties of the "real fan" and you send me a video of the fan, I can tell you whether I'm seeing the "real" or the "mirror" fan. This is not true for the spin in the Co atoms, so your analogy doesn't work. And is precisely this difference that is the main point of the experiment.
 

1. What is symmetry of parity and how does it relate to the experiment?

The symmetry of parity is a fundamental principle in physics that states that the laws of physics should be the same for both left-handed and right-handed systems. In the experiment, this principle is used to ensure that the results are not biased towards one direction.

2. How can a mistake in the experiment affect the symmetry of parity?

If a mistake is made in the experiment, it can lead to a violation of the symmetry of parity. This means that the results may favor one direction over the other, which would go against the fundamental principle of symmetry.

3. What are some common mistakes that can affect the symmetry of parity in an experiment?

Some common mistakes that can affect the symmetry of parity include errors in measurement, incorrect calibration of equipment, and bias in data collection or analysis.

4. How can scientists ensure that the experiment is not affected by a mistake in the symmetry of parity?

To ensure that the experiment is not affected by a mistake in the symmetry of parity, scientists must carefully design and plan the experiment, use precise and accurate equipment, and have strict protocols in place for data collection and analysis.

5. What are the implications of a mistake in the symmetry of parity in an experiment?

If a mistake in the symmetry of parity is found in an experiment, it could call into question the validity of the results and the overall conclusions drawn from the experiment. This could lead to further investigation and potentially new discoveries in the field of physics.

Similar threads

Replies
8
Views
804
  • Quantum Physics
Replies
3
Views
3K
  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
9
Views
5K
  • Other Physics Topics
Replies
0
Views
711
  • MATLAB, Maple, Mathematica, LaTeX
Replies
4
Views
2K

Back
Top