An atom is made of positively charged protons and neutral neutrons concentrated in a nucleus, while negatively charged electrons orbit around them. If I want to make a Helium atom out of two Hydrogen atoms, I am going to have to have to get 2 Hydrogen atoms very close together so that they can form a new nucleus. This is a process called nuclear fusion, and it takes a lot of energy. a) If, in order for this to happen, I have to bring the two protons to within 10−15 m. How much energy does it take to bring this second proton from very far away to 10−15 m from the first proton? b) With how much speed would I have to shoot this proton toward the first in order for it to make it? c) Is that speed faster than or slower than the speed of light?
a) We can apply the kinetic energy and work theorem.
b) Applying energy conservation:
is slower than light
c=speed of light = 3x108 m/s
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