# Head-on Proton Collision: Finding Speed

• kevykevy
In summary, the question involves two protons being fired directly at each other from a large distance. The closest approach in this head-on collision is 3.0 x 10^14 m. One proton starts with two times the speed of the other. To determine the initial speed of each proton, the law of conservation of energy can be used, taking into account the total energy of the system and the known parameters such as the distance and relative speed of the protons. However, there may be some difficulty in solving for the initial speed due to the presence of multiple unknowns, including mass, velocity, and charge.
kevykevy
Question - Two protons, separated by a large distance, are fired directly at each other. The closest approach in this head-on collision is 3.0 x 10^14 m. One proton starts with two times the speed of the other. Assuming there is no delection from the original path, determine the initial speed of each proton.

Solution - I read through my notes and textbook but I couldn't find any way to connect speed with this question. Is there any specific equations to use?

kevykevy said:
Question - Two protons, separated by a large distance, are fired directly at each other. The closest approach in this head-on collision is 3.0 x 10^14 m. One proton starts with two times the speed of the other. Assuming there is no delection from the original path, determine the initial speed of each proton.

Solution - I read through my notes and textbook but I couldn't find any way to connect speed with this question. Is there any specific equations to use?
Conservation of energy.

the total energy is $${1 \over 2} m_1 v_1^2 + {1 \over 2} m_2 v_2^2 - {k q_1 q_2 \over r}$$ and it is conserved.

So, since I don't know what the mass is or the speed, would I split the question up into two parts, the first being at collision so I can solve for mass since speed is zero. Then I can use the law of conservation of energy to find velocity at start?

Actually, how would I solve that if there is 3 unknowns: mass, velocity, and charge?

## 1. What is a head-on proton collision?

A head-on proton collision is a type of particle collision that occurs between two protons traveling in opposite directions at high speeds.

## 2. How is the speed of the particles determined?

The speed of the particles is determined by measuring the amount of energy released during the collision and using the principles of conservation of energy and momentum to calculate their velocities.

## 3. Why are head-on proton collisions important in scientific research?

Head-on proton collisions allow scientists to study the fundamental building blocks of matter and the forces that govern their interactions. They also provide insights into the conditions of the early universe and help us understand the properties of different particles.

## 4. What equipment is used to measure the speed of particles in a head-on proton collision?

The speed of particles in a head-on proton collision is measured using a particle accelerator, such as the Large Hadron Collider, which accelerates protons to almost the speed of light, and detectors, such as the ATLAS and CMS detectors, which track the particles' movements and measure their energies.

## 5. What are the potential applications of studying head-on proton collisions?

Studying head-on proton collisions can lead to advancements in various fields such as medicine, technology, and energy. It can also help us understand the origins of the universe and potentially answer some of the biggest questions in physics, such as the search for dark matter and the theory of everything.

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