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Homework Help: Momentum: Nucleus decays into 3

  1. Mar 15, 2012 #1
    Can someone please help with this one? I'm not sure what to do here. I broke momentum for particles one and two into components (found m1v1cosθ1 + m2v2cosθ2 and m1v1sinθ1 + m2v2sinθ2) but this is not correct and I really don't know what to do. Please help!!

    A certain nucleus at rest suddenly decays into three particles, two of which are charged and can be easily detected. The data gathered for these two particles is:

    Particle 1 has mass m1 = 3.00 x 10^-20 kg moving at speed v1 = 5.25 x 10^5 m/s at θ1 = 51.9o.

    Particle 2 has mass m2 = 2.11 x 10^-25 kg moving at speed v2 = 1.10 x 10^7 m/s at θ2 = 220o.

    Find p3, the momentum of the third piece in i-j notation
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2012 #2
    Can anyone help? Since it started from rest should the total momentum be 0?
  4. Mar 15, 2012 #3


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    Homework Helper

    Yes. Write up the sum of all the x and y components in separate equations and equate them to zero.

  5. Mar 16, 2012 #4
    Thank you!!
  6. Mar 16, 2012 #5


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    Homework Helper

    You are welcome. Have you got the correct solution?

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