# Collision of alpha with Be -> C + gamma

• Elvis 123456789
In summary, the conversation discusses the discovery of the neutron and the proposed explanation for the high-energy gamma rays produced when beryllium is bombarded with alpha particles. The conversation then moves on to calculating the Q value for this reaction and determining the energy of the 13C nucleus and gamma radiation. The speaker also mentions a gripe with the assumption made in the problem and whether the calculation can still be done without it.
Elvis 123456789

## Homework Statement

Before the discovery of the neutron, it was proposed that the penetrating radiation produced when beryllium was bombarded with alpha particles consisted of high-energy &gamma rays (up to 50 MeV) produced in reactions such as α + 9Be --> 13C + γ

a.) Calculate the Q value for this reaction.

b.) If 5-MeV alpha particles are incident on 9Be, calculate the energy of the 13C nucleus and, hence, determine the energy of gamma radiation assuming it is emitted as a single photon. Hint: You may neglect the momentum of the γ ray relative to the 13C nucleus. Masses: m(4He) = 4.0026u, m(9Be) = 9.0122u, m(13C) = 13.0034u

## Homework Equations

m(Z, N) = A*1u +Δ where the Δ stands for the mass excess and A = Z + N

Q = (mc + md - ma - mb)c2

## The Attempt at a Solution

My main gripe with this problem is that i don't understand why we can neglect the momentum of the gamma ray when conserving momentum. I did the problem with the assumption but can the problem still be done without it?

Elvis 123456789 said:
I did the problem with the assumption but can the problem still be done without it?
Sure, it just makes the calculation a bit more complex, and it leads to the same answer within the precision you can achieve with the given mass numbers as the assumption is a very good approximation.

## 1. What is the collision of alpha with Be?

The collision of alpha with Be refers to the process in which an alpha particle (a helium nucleus) collides with a beryllium nucleus, resulting in the production of a carbon nucleus and a gamma ray photon.

## 2. How does this collision occur?

This collision can occur through a variety of processes, such as nuclear fusion, nuclear fission, or through high-energy particle accelerators.

## 3. What is the significance of this collision?

This collision is significant because it is one of the key processes involved in nuclear reactions and energy production. It also allows us to study the properties of nuclei and subatomic particles.

## 4. What is the role of the gamma ray in this collision?

The gamma ray is a high-energy photon that is produced as a result of the collision between the alpha and beryllium nuclei. It carries away excess energy from the reaction and can be detected and measured to provide information about the reaction.

## 5. Are there any practical applications of this collision?

Yes, this collision has practical applications in various fields such as nuclear energy production, medical imaging, and materials science. It is also used in research to study the properties of nuclei and subatomic particles.

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