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Homework Help: Find the mass of two decayed fragments

  1. May 3, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    An unstable particle with a mass equal to 3.34*10^-27 kg is initially at rest. The particle decays into two fragments that fly off with velocities of 0.987c and -0.868c. Find the masses of the fragments.

    2. Relevant equations
    conservation of momentum: 0=(m1*0.987c)/sqrt(1-(0.987)^2-(m1*0.868c)/sqrt(1-(0.868)^2

    conservation of total energy: 3.34*10^-27 kg=m1/sqrt(1-(0.987)^2+m2/sqrt(1-(0.868)^2
    when I solve this for m1 or/and m2 it gives me the wrong result.

    mfaster=2.51*10^-28 kg
    mslower=8.82*10^-28 kg
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2009 #2
    Are those solutions you gave the ones you got that were wrong, or the correct ones? Because I get the same answer as the solutions you gave using your equations.
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  4. May 4, 2009 #3
    These are the correct solutions (not mine). Now, after calculating it a hundred times I also got the correct result. Thank you
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