# Physics

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A  tritium  nucleus  explodes  by  beta  decay.  An  electron  leaves  with
1x108m/sec.  Its  mass  is 9x10‐31kg.  What  is  the  recoil velocity  if  the  3He+          ion  mass  is  3x 1.66x10‐27kg.   What  is  the  kinetic  energy  of  both  particles
in  Joules  and  in  electron volts  (1eV = 1.16x ‐19J)?

• Physics -

If this were really a two-particle "explosion", then the recoil momentum of the 3He++ particle would be equal and opposite to that of the electron. One could use that fact and the mass to calculate the 3He++ velocity.

Actually, beta decay is a three-particle process, with a variable and often large part of the momentum carried away by an antineutrino. Whoever made up the question should be aware of that.

See
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Hbase/Nuclear/beta.html

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