Question

Beryllium-8 is an unstable isotope and decays into two α particles, which are helium nuclei with mass 6.68×10−27kg. This decay process releases 1.5×10−14J of energy. For this problem, let's assume that the mass of the Beryllium-8 nucleus is just twice the mass of an α particle and that all the energy released in the decay becomes kinetic energy of the α particles.

Part A

If a Beryllium-8 nucleus is at rest when it decays, what is the speed of the α particles after they are released?

Part B

If the Beryllium-8 nucleus is moving in the positive x-direction with a speed of 1.0×106 m/s when it decays, what is the speed of the slower-moving α particle after it is released? Assume that the α particles move entirely in the x-direction.

Part C

If the Beryllium-8 nucleus is moving in the positive x-direction with a speed of 1.0×106 m/s when it decays, what is the speed of the faster-moving α particle after it is released? Assume that the α particles move entirely in the x-direction.

Answer #1

Beryllium-8 is an unstable isotope and decays into two α
particles, which are helium nuclei with mass 6.68×10−27kg. This
decay process releases 1.5×10−14J of energy. For this problem,
let's assume that the mass of the Beryllium-8 nucleus is just twice
the mass of an α particle and that all the energy released in the
decay becomes kinetic energy of the α particles. If a Beryllium-8
nucleus is at rest when it decays, what is the speed of the α
particles...

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