# Elastic Collision between a neutron and helium nucleus.

• nocho8
In summary, the problem involves a neutron colliding elastically with a helium nucleus at rest initially. After the collision, the helium nucleus is observed to rebound at an angle of 41° from the neutron's initial direction. The neutron's initial speed is 6.2 x 10^5 m/s. Using conservation of momentum and energy, we can find the angle at which the neutron rebounds (θ'1) and its speed after the collision.
nocho8

## Homework Statement

A neutron collides elastically with a helium nucleus (at rest initially) whose mass is four times that of the neutron. The helium nucleus is observed to rebound at an angle θ'2 = 41° from the neutron's initial direction. The neutron's initial speed is 6.2 x10^5 m/s. Determine the angle at which the neutron rebounds, θ'1, measured from its initial direction.
__°
What is the speed of the neutron after the collision?
_____m/s
What is the speed of the helium nucleus after the collision?
_____m/s

## Homework Equations

conservation of momentum
conservation of energy

## The Attempt at a Solution

Wound up with a very messy system of equations involving conservation of momentum in both the x and y directions as well as conservation of energy. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited:
Can you show some details of what you did? Then perhaps someone will be able to find if you did go wrong and where.

## 1. What is an elastic collision?

An elastic collision is a type of collision between two objects in which the total kinetic energy of the system is conserved. This means that no energy is lost or gained during the collision, and the objects bounce off each other without any permanent deformation.

## 2. What is a neutron?

A neutron is a subatomic particle that has no electric charge and is found in the nucleus of an atom. It is slightly heavier than a proton and plays a key role in nuclear reactions.

## 3. What is a helium nucleus?

A helium nucleus, also known as an alpha particle, is a type of particle that consists of two protons and two neutrons bound together by strong nuclear force. It is a stable particle and is commonly found in the nucleus of helium atoms.

## 4. How does an elastic collision between a neutron and helium nucleus occur?

In an elastic collision between a neutron and helium nucleus, the two particles approach each other with a certain velocity and collide. During the collision, the neutron and helium nucleus exchange some of their kinetic energy, but the total kinetic energy of the system remains the same. After the collision, the particles will bounce off each other with their respective velocities.

## 5. What are the applications of studying elastic collisions between a neutron and helium nucleus?

Studying elastic collisions between a neutron and helium nucleus is important in understanding nuclear reactions and the behavior of particles at the atomic level. This knowledge is essential in fields such as nuclear energy, particle physics, and astrophysics. It can also help in the development of new technologies, such as nuclear fusion reactors.

Replies
4
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
23
Views
4K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
13
Views
381
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
1K
• Mechanics
Replies
6
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
15
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
8
Views
3K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
1K
• Classical Physics
Replies
20
Views
1K