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Gamow Energy

  1. Mar 19, 2008 #1

    Can someone clarify for me the terms used in the Gamow energy equation. I know mr = reduced mass, c= speed of light etc, but what is puzzling me are the terms Za and Zb.

    I thought that these were the charges (I have been asked to find the Gamow energy of two protons). My answer booklet gives these values as 1 but I can't see where they get this from.

    Any help would be most appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Do you mean the following equation, which I got by Googling on "Gamow energy"?

    [tex]E_G = \left( \pi \alpha Z_A Z_B \right)^2 2m_r c^2[/tex]

    If so, according to these lecture notes, [itex]Z_A[/itex] and [itex]Z_B[/itex] are the numbers of protons in the two nuclei involved. Since in your case both A and B are single protons, clearly Z = 1 for both.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  4. Mar 19, 2008 #3
    Of course.... Z is the value for the atomic number which is the number of protons in a nucleus.... Sorry, missed that one! But thankyou.... it was the equation I was looking at
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