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# Mass of an alpha particle Watch

1. I'm doing the EDEXCEL A2 Physics course which is pretty crap, anyway in the text book it has questions with no answers, and it has asked me:

How much acceleration will an alpha particle undergo while in an electric field of strength 10kVm^-1?

Since F=EQ=ma
EQ=ma
A = unknown I'm trying to find
Q = Charge = 2 x 1.6 x 10^-19
E = 10000
M = .. well I don't know and this is my question, since I don't know if I'm able to just multiply the mass of a proton by 4 (seeing as neutrons + protons weigh the same) or if I take into account mass deficit, in which case I don't know what number to use. Cheers.
2. I'm doing AS AQA. it would probobly be 2 Proton masses plus 2 Neutron masses. as neutrons are slightly heavier.

Proton 1.67(3)x10^27 kg

Neutron 1.67(5)x10^27 kg

can't guarantee thats what they want but its what I'd do. Does the exam paper have a info sheet?
3. The whole alpha, beta, gamma thing is stupid. They should just call them He nucleus, electron, photon; then everyone would know what we're talking about. Why have two names for the exact same thing.

Sorry, /rant
4. I'm pretty sure it's because the radiation was discovered before anyone knew what it was actually made of - physicists knew there were three types of ionising radiation, but not what caused them.
5. (Original post by laeti)
I'm pretty sure it's because the radiation was discovered before anyone knew what it was actually made of - physicists knew there were three types of ionising radiation, but not what caused them.
yeah, I understand that, its just the needlessly obfuscatory habit of science to continue to teach obsolete terminology and theories that annoys me. It's like they're deliberately trying to make it confusing. Let's all go study JJ Thompson's plum pudding model some more.
6. Do you mean the rest mass? :P

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Updated: December 11, 2010
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