How to Calculate Energy Produced from Collision of Particles?

In summary, the problem involves a collision between two particles, one with mass m1 and momentum p1, and the other with mass m2 at rest. After the collision, two particles of masses m3 and m4 leave with momenta in directions θ3 and θ4 respectively. The energy Q produced by the reaction can be found using conservation of momentum and energy equations. The existence of particles 1 and 2 after the collision is not mentioned, so it can be assumed that they do not exist. However, m2 is still important in identifying the energies and momenta of the outgoing particles. The rest energy of the particles should also be considered in solving the problem.
  • #1
1missing
14
0

Homework Statement


A particle of mass m1 and momentum p1 collides with a particle of mass m2 at rest. A reaction occurs from which two particles of masses m3 and m4 leave the collision along the angles θ3 and θ4 respectively, measured from the original direction of particle 1. Find the energy Q produced by the reaction in terms of the masses of the particles, the angles, and p1.

Homework Equations


pi = pf Conservation of momentum

KEi = KEf + Q Conservation of energy

The Attempt at a Solution


To be honest I'm having the hardest time just making sense of the problem. I feel like I'm missing something. Do particles 1 and 2 still exist after the collision? Do they rebound? Do they stick together? Does it even matter if I'm just trying to find Q? Really not sure what the heck is going on.
 
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  • #2
1missing said:
Do particles 1 and 2 still exist after the collision?
If they did, this would be mentioned in the problem statement. Hence, they do not.
 
  • #3
Does m2 even enter the problem then?
 
  • #4
Yes. You will need it to be able to uniquely identify the energies and momenta of the outgoing particles.
 
  • #5
Wait, is this a classical or a relativistic problem?
 
  • #6
I'm assuming it's a classical problem because we haven't done anything relativistic all semester, which leads me to the question of where does m2 enter into the problem? It's at rest, so no initial momentum and no initial kinetic energy, and the particle doesn't exist after the collision, so should I be considering the rest energy of the particles?

Edit: Nevermind, think I solved it without the need for m2.
 
Last edited:
  • #7
1missing said:
should I be considering the rest energy of the particles?
Yes.
1missing said:
think I solved it without the need for m2.
I don't see how. Please post your working.
 

Related to How to Calculate Energy Produced from Collision of Particles?

1. What is a collision of particles?

A collision of particles occurs when two or more particles come into contact with each other, resulting in a transfer of energy and/or a change in direction or velocity.

2. What types of collisions can occur between particles?

There are two types of collisions: elastic and inelastic. In an elastic collision, the total kinetic energy of the particles before and after the collision remains the same. In an inelastic collision, some of the kinetic energy is lost and converted into other forms, such as heat.

3. How are collisions of particles studied in science?

Collisions of particles are studied using various techniques, such as particle accelerators and computer simulations. Scientists can also analyze the results of collisions to understand the properties and behavior of particles.

4. What is the significance of studying collisions of particles?

Understanding collisions of particles is important in many fields of science, including physics, chemistry, and materials science. It can help us understand the fundamental laws of nature and develop new technologies and materials.

5. Can collisions of particles be harmful?

Yes, collisions of particles can be harmful in certain situations. For example, high energy collisions in particle accelerators can produce radiation, which can be harmful to living organisms. However, in most cases, collisions of particles are harmless and occur naturally in our daily lives.

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