1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Bubble chamber and spirals

  1. Jul 23, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Basically, a particle is moving in a straight line in a bubble chamber. Then, it splits into two other particles. The new particles start to rotate, but while one rotates clockwise, the other rotates counter-clokwise. The trajectory of the particles before and after the split can be viewed in the attached diagram. The question simply asks why the particles rotate in opposing directions.
    http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/5083/spiralt.jpg [Broken]

    2. Relevant equations
    No calculations are required.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I thought this question was fairly simple, with the answer being conservation of angular momentum. The initial particle moves in a straight line, so it has no angular momentum. If the new particles are rotating, their angular momentum must have the same magnitude but opposing orientation, so that the system's angular momentum remains zero. Problem solved, right? Except the correct answer given is that "the particles have opposite charges". Huh? Did the question ignore angular momentum as a possible explanation or am I simply way off?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted