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Recoil Velocity of Polonium Nucleus after Alpha Decay

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)?

Solution Preview

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

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.