Alpha particle trajectories from Li disintegration

by HarryTick
Tags: alpha, disintegration, particle, trajectories
HarryTick is offline
Jul25-10, 03:04 AM
P: 2
When a proton is fused with lithium and two alpha particles are formed, how do you know which direction they'll go. I thought they would take roughly the same path as the accelerated proton, but in the explanations of Cockroft and Walton's setup, they show the lithium at a 45 degree angle and the scintillation detector off to the side. See figure two in Cockroft's lecture. If a peice of lithium foil was placed perpendicular to the proton stream, would the alpha particle trajectories be different?

Please bear with me, I am an environmental chemist, not a physicist.

Edit: I can't beleive I posted this in the wrong subforum. I meant to post this in the high energy physics section. Can a mod please move this?
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on
Researchers develop scalable methods for manufacturing metamaterials
Researchers find tin selenide shows promise for efficiently converting waste heat into electrical energy
After 13 years, progress in pitch-drop experiment (w/ video)
Astronuc is offline
Jul25-10, 06:09 AM
Astronuc's Avatar
P: 21,634
The alignment of the Li target is simply for observing the scintillation while keeping the instrumentation out of the beam, and in this case the axis of the detectors is perpendicular to the beam. The total number of reactions would be a function of the thickness and to some extent the orientation of the target.
HarryTick is offline
Jul26-10, 12:49 AM
P: 2
Is there a mod that can move this to the appropriate forum, or should I just edit my post to nothingness and post it in the proper forum?

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Particle Disintegration: Equation trouble Advanced Physics Homework 5
alpha particle Advanced Physics Homework 4
disintegration of a particle Introductory Physics Homework 5
Alpha Particle General Physics 3