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I need help solving this please! I think that for part (b) I can use energy and wavelength to solve for frequency and the one with the highest frequency is the most damaging, but I'm not sure what to do for part (a).

You want to study a biological specimen by means of a wavelength of 10.0 nm and you have a choice of using electromagnetic waves or an electron microscope.
(a) Calculate the ratio of the energy of a 10.0 nm wavelength photon to the kinetic energy of a 10.0 nm wavelength electron.
(b) In view of your answer in part (a) which would be less damaging to the specimen, photons or electrons?

  • Physics -

    (a) Photon energy = h*c/L
    Electron energy = (1/2)(momentum)^2/m
    = (1/2)*(h/L)^2*(1/m)

    Energy ratio (photon/electron)
    = 2*m*(hc/L)/(h/L)^2
    = 2 m L c /h = ?

    m is the electron mass and L is the wavelength. h is Planck's constant. This assumes the de Broglie relation between momentum (p) and wavelength of matter, L = h/p

    I get the photon to be more energetic. See what you get.

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