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    rms (root mean square) speeds of isotopes of Uranium

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    Uranium has two naturally occuring isotopes. 238U has a natural abunchance of 99.3% and 235U has an abundance of 0.7%. It is the rarer 235U that is needed for nuclear reactors. The isotopes are separated by forming uranium hexafluoride UF_6, which is a gas, then allowing it to diffuse through a series of porous membranes. 235UF_6 has a slightly larger rms speed than 238UF_6 and diffuses slightly faster. Many repetitions of this procedure gradually separate the two isotopes. What is the ratio of the rms speed of 235UF_6 to that of 238UF_6? Express your answer to five significant figures.

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    v (rms) = square root of (3kT/m)

    where T is the temperature and m is the molecular mass
    The rms speed is ...

    Solution Summary

    Calculates the ratio of the rms speed of 235UF_6 to that of 238UF_6.