An alpha particle with kinetic energy 10.5 MeV makes a collision with lead nucleus, but it is not "aimed" at the center of the lead nucleus, and has an initial nonzero angular momentum (with respect to the stationary lead nucleus) of magnitude L = p_0 b, where p_0 is the magnitude of the initial momentum of the alpha particle and b=1.00×10−12 m. (Assume that the lead nucleus remains stationary and that it may be treated as a point charge. The atomic number of lead is 82. The alpha particle is a helium nucleus, with atomic number 2.)
a) find the distance of closest approach
conservation of momentum and energy, I guess; formula for electric potential energy
The Attempt at a Solution
[Edit] Scroll to last post to see my attempt
I definately need some hints on this one. I don't think we've said anything about angular moment of particles during the physics course I'm in. I did a google search to refresh my memory on angular moment, and I recall that it's basically rotation.
Well, in this problem, I can't figure what's rotating around what. Or how this brings on a collision. I appreciate any help. However, I have solved a problem kind of like this that involved conservation of linear momentum and energy to find the closest distance two particles of the same charge got before jutting off in the opposite directions due to their opposing force on one another. But how can I apply the concept of angular momentum?