Nuclear and Particle Physics Question

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Blake Jones
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Hi,

I was wondering whether anyone could help with a question on my homework. The homework shows Uranium 235 undergoing alpha decay to thorium and as it does so energy (Q) is produced. With no further information it asks what are the two forms that the energy Q takes. I understand that Q is the decay energy but can't seem to get any further than that.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Blake
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Callicious
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(Original post by Blake Jones)
Hi,

I was wondering whether anyone could help with a question on my homework. The homework shows Uranium 235 undergoing alpha decay to thorium and as it does so energy (Q) is produced. With no further information it asks what are the two forms that the energy Q takes. I understand that Q is the decay energy but can't seem to get any further than that.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Blake
Only thing I can guess is that the thorium nucleus is produced with some kinetic energy... that's definitely one. The alpha nucleus also has a positive charge to the positive charge of the thorium *nucleus*, and is hence pushed away. So... er, electric potential energy?

Those are the only two I have. Someone else needs to help you, but I hope I gave a smidgen of hope :-;
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Blake Jones)
Hi,

I was wondering whether anyone could help with a question on my homework. The homework shows Uranium 235 undergoing alpha decay to thorium and as it does so energy (Q) is produced. With no further information it asks what are the two forms that the energy Q takes. I understand that Q is the decay energy but can't seem to get any further than that.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Blake
The way it usually works with exam questions and exam style questions is that you use the information given either in the question itself or in the formula sheet you get during the exam to work something out. There's not, tbh, a great deal of fact memorisation required but you do need to be solid on principles and how to apply them.

SO you're not helping us to help you by saying
The homework shows Uranium 235 undergoing alpha decay to thorium
Without showing what the question shows you... we can't refer to the diagram (or whatever) and say 'there's the clue'... which is the thing that would hopefully help you to answer all similar questions in the future.
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Kallisto
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When uranium 235 decays to thorium, it comes to alpha decay. Alpha decay releases a helium nucleus. This helium nucleus has an energy when it is released and can be calculated. As it is in movement during releasing, the formula is kinetic energy for nucleus.
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Blake Jones
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(Original post by Callicious)
Only thing I can guess is that the thorium nucleus is produced with some kinetic energy... that's definitely one. The alpha nucleus also has a positive charge to the positive charge of the thorium *nucleus*, and is hence pushed away. So... er, electric potential energy?

Those are the only two I have. Someone else needs to help you, but I hope I gave a smidgen of hope :-;
Haha! Thank you for your response, it definitely was helpful and much appreciated
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Blake Jones
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(Original post by Joinedup)
The way it usually works with exam questions and exam style questions is that you use the information given either in the question itself or in the formula sheet you get during the exam to work something out. There's not, tbh, a great deal of fact memorisation required but you do need to be solid on principles and how to apply them.

SO you're not helping us to help you by saying


Without showing what the question shows you... we can't refer to the diagram (or whatever) and say 'there's the clue'... which is the thing that would hopefully help you to answer all similar questions in the future.
Here is the diagram shown in the question and then it just has + Q on the right hand side as well

http://images.slideplayer.com/26/841...s/slide_10.jpg
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Eimmanuel
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(Original post by Blake Jones)
Hi,

I was wondering whether anyone could help with a question on my homework. The homework shows Uranium 235 undergoing alpha decay to thorium and as it does so energy (Q) is produced. With no further information it asks what are the two forms that the energy Q takes. I understand that Q is the decay energy but can't seem to get any further than that.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Blake
Hi Blake,

I am a bit surprised or confused, why the question asks for two forms of energy. If you look into any typical college physics textbook, the Q-value is usually manifested as the kinetic energy of the alpha nucleus and daughter nucleus (Th nucleus in this case) respectively.

https://books.google.com.sg/books?id...epage&q&f=true

Hopefully, you understand the example given in the link.

If the Q-value is not totally manifested as the kinetic energy of the alpha nucleus and daughter nucleus respectively, then the daughter nucleus is in the excited state. The excited daughter nucleus will return to the ground state by undergoing gamma decay.


(Original post by Kallisto)
When uranium 235 decays to thorium, it comes to alpha decay. Alpha decay releases a helium atom. This helium atom has an energy when it is released and can be calculated. As it is in movement during releasing, the formula is kinetic energy for atoms.
In alpha decay, it does not release helium atom.
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Kallisto
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(Original post by Eimmanuel)
(...)

In alpha decay, it does not release helium atom.
Okay, to use a term: the helium nucleus is emitted, is this the way better? I am trying to speak in metaphorical language. Did I have forget to use the quotation marks to make it clear? I am so sorry.
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Eimmanuel
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(Original post by Kallisto)
Okay, to use a term: the helium atom is emitted, is this the way better? I am trying to speak in metaphorical language. Did I have forget to use the quotation marks to make it clear? I am so sorry.
You have misinterpreted what I am writing. In an alpha decay, helium nucleus is emitted NOT helium atom! Try defining alpha decay using helium atom in any test or exam and see what you would get if you are a student.
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Blake Jones
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(Original post by Eimmanuel)
Hi Blake,

I am a bit surprised or confused, why the question asks for two forms of energy. If you look into any typical college physics textbook, the Q-value is usually manifested as the kinetic energy of the alpha nucleus and daughter nucleus (Th nucleus in this case) respectively.

https://books.google.com.sg/books?id...epage&q&f=true

Hopefully, you understand the example given in the link.

If the Q-value is not totally manifested as the kinetic energy of the alpha nucleus and daughter nucleus respectively, then the daughter nucleus is in the excited state. The excited daughter nucleus will return to the ground state by undergoing gamma decay.




In alpha decay, it does not release helium atom.
Thank you very much! That's of great help!
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Kallisto
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(Original post by Eimmanuel)
You have misinterpreted what I am writing. In an alpha decay, helium nucleus is emitted NOT helium atom! Try defining alpha decay using helium atom in any test or exam and see what you would get if you are a student.
Oh...my...god!! you are right, you are sooo right! facepalm to myself! :facepalm:

Thank you for showing this mistake up. I was so blind at it. I will correct it and replace the term atom by nucleus, okay? do you have something against it? nah, I just do that!
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Eimmanuel
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(Original post by Kallisto)
Oh...my...god!! you are right, you are sooo right! facepalm to myself! :facepalm:

Thank you for showing this mistake up. I was so blind at it. I will correct it and replace the term atom by nucleus, okay? do you have something against it? nah, I just do that!
I am good at it. If you can use latex to strikethrough the atom  \rule[0.5ex]{2.5em}{0.1ex}\hspace{-2.5em}\text{atom} , it will be better.
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