On the 1932 Discovery of the Positron.

University essay from KTH/Fysik

Author: Alexander Lawncizak; Victor Åsbrink; [2014]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: An experiment on Cosmic rays performed by Carl D Anderson led to the accidental discovery of the positron in 1932. The discovery was a turning point in particle physics which led to numerous other theories and has been discussed by scientists all over the world. Anderson had photographed a 63 MeV, upward moving electron. The possible origin of such a positron has never before been discussed and is what this report will aim to explain. The report will include some evidence that the particle is in fact a positron as well as a discussion of the four main theories whose possibility and probability will be discussed; pion decay, muon decay, magnetic field bending and pair production. The report will also cover a historical background for Anderson’s experiment, as well as a theoretical background needed for the theories of the origin. The probability of discovering a positron with any of the theorized origins is extremely low and for some theories, even impossible.  

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