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Recoil Velocity of Polonium Nucleus after Alpha Decay

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The nucleus of the polonium isotope 214Po (mass 214 u) is radioactive and decays by emitting an alpha particle (a helium nucleus with mass 4 u). Laboratory experiments measure the speed of the alpha particle to be 1.59*10^7 m/s . Assuming the polonium nucleus was initially at rest, what is the recoil velocity of the nucleus that remains after the decay (in m/s)?

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Solution Summary

The solution employs the relevant conservation theory and accompanying formula to find the recoil velocity of a nucleus after alpha decay when given the speed of the emitted helium nucleus in a clear, easy-to-replicate manner.

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mass of Po mPo = 214
mass of alpha particle ma = 4 u
mass of ...

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