In the radioactive decay of a nucleus of an atom called americium-241 (symbol 241Am, mass of 4.03 x 10–25 kg), it emits an alpha particle (designated as α) with a mass of 6.68 x 10-27 kg to the right with a kinetic energy of 8.67 x 10-13. (This is typical of nuclear energies, small on the everyday scale.) The remaining nucleus is neptunium-237 (237Np) and has a mass of 3.96 x 10-25 kg. Assume the initial nucleus was at rest.
(a) Will the neptunium nucleus have (1) more, (2) less, or (3) the same amount of kinetic energy compared to the alpha particle?
(b) Determine the kinetic energy of the 237Np nucleus afterward.

  • CreatedAugust 29, 2015
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