The nucleus of 8Be, which consists of 4 protons and 4 neutrons, is very unstable and spontaneously breaks into two alpha particles (helium nuclei, each consisting of 2 protons and 2 neutrons).
(a) What is the force between the two alpha particles when they are 5.00x10^-15 m apart?
(b) What will be the magnitude of the acceleration of the alpha particles due to this force? Note that the mass of an alpha particle is 4.0026 u.
Physics - drwls, Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 5:50am
(a) Use Coulomb's Law. In this case, the Q's are both equal to 2e, where
e = 1.6*10^-19 Coulombs
b) According to Newton's second law,
acceleration = (Force)/(mass)
where the mass is that of an alpha particle, which is very nearly equal to the mass of 4 protons