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By van Nieuwenhuizen P.

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In England, Blackett and Occhialini decided to study cosmic rays, and as soon as they saw Anderson’s article they looked for positron events in their own plates, and found many, including several cases in which Einstein had already in 1925 come close to predicting antimatter [45]. He had constructed a unified field theory for gravity and electromagnetism with the antisymmetric part of the metric equal to the Maxwell curvature, and had derived from P and T symmetry that a particle with the same mass but opposite charge to the electron should exist.

B. 35 2. WEAK INTERACTIONS 53 concept in field theory was introduced by Fermi in the 1930’s: the notion of particle creation. In Schr¨odinger and Heisenberg’s theory of quantum mechanics, an electron could make a transition from one level to another in the atom, but it remained an electron. Transitions could be induced by an external classical field but that external field was treated as an external field and not as a collection of photons. The concept of particle creation started with Born, Heisenberg and Jordan’s 1925 one-dimensional model of photons [22] and Dirac’s 1927 transverse quantized radiation field [17] which could create or annihilate photons.

38 Although posterity has focused on his current-current interaction, the real work for Fermi was to calculate the relativistic Coulomb functions for the electrons. Because only natural radioactive elements were available to him (artificial radioactivity was not yet discovered) which have high Z, the Coulomb corrections were large. 38 Fermi constructed his current-current interaction for nuclear β decay by mimicking the minimal couplings to currents in QED, and from this perspective it is natural that he did not include derivatives in his four-fermion theory.

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