Date of Award
Dr. Clark W. McCarty
Very little is known about the mysterious world of antimatter. The idea that such particles could exist was not even proposed until forty years ago. Perhaps the story of the discovery of antimatter began when scientists were trying to unify the Theory of Relativity and the Theory of Quanta. The trouble was that the quantities in the classical wave equation are in the second derivatives. In Schrodinger's wave equation of the Quantum Theory, x, y, and z are second derivatives, but i is a first derivative.
Following Einstein's basic ideas, H. Minkowski proposed the concept of a four-dimensional time-space continuum in which time is multiplied by i... and is regarded as equivalent to the three space coordinates x, y, and z. For dimensional reasons, time is also multiplied by c, the velocity of light in a vacuum. O. Klein and W. Gorden tried to turn Schrodinger's equation into relativistic form simply by introducing the second derivatives on time. However, attempts to introduce the electron spin into this equation did not work.
Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, a British physicist, in 1928 reasoned that if using the second derivative on the time coordinated did not work, then using the first derivatives on the space coordinates might. This linear equation was successful.
Griffin, Claudia Morgan, "Antimatter" (1970). Honors Theses. 429.