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General Physics

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A neutron collides elastically with a helium nucleus (at rest initially) whose mass is four times that of the neutron. The helium nucleus is observed to rebound at an angle è'2 = 45° from the neutron's initial direction. The neutron's initial speed is 6.6x10^5 m/s. Determine the angle at which the neutron rebounds, è'1, measured from its initial direction.


What is the speed of the neutron after the collision?
___ m/s

What is the speed of the helium nucleus after the collision?
___ m/s

  • General Physics -

    Elastic? Ok, momentum equations and energy equations can be used.

    The sum of the final KE =initial KE
    The sum of momentums in orig direction=momentum of neutron originally.
    The sum of momentum in direction perpendicular to orig direction=zero

    You will have three unknowns:
    velocity of neutron after
    velocity of He after

    Three equations, three unknowns. A little algebra and trig :)

  • General Physics -

    thanks but I know that there are three unknowns and three equations. Getting the formulas are the difficult part.

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