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A proton is traveling to the right at 2.5×10^7m/s . It has a head-on perfectly elastic collision with a carbon atom. The mass of the carbon atom is 12 times the mass of the proton.
What are the speeds of each after the collision?

  • Physics, not "college" -

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  • college -

    Ignoring relativistic effects...

    mp*vp=mp*vp' + 12mpv'

    vp=vp' + 12v' all from conservation of momentum.
    Energy:
    1/2 mp vp^2=1/2mp*vp'^2+ 1/2 12mp v'^2
    vp^2=vp'^2 + 12 v'^2

    solve for vp' in the first equation
    vp'=vp-12v' put that in the second equation
    vp^2=(vp-12v')^2+12v'^2
    expand it, and solve the quadratic equation.

  • college -

    just answer it jeez

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