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Homework Help: Neutron Energy after elastic scattering

  1. Sep 26, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Verify the following equation


    Where A is the atomic mass of the target nucleus hit by an incoming neutron, E is the energy of the neutron before collision, and E[tex]^{1}[/tex] is the energy of the neutron after collision.

    Please note that the entire fraction on the right side of the equation should be squared, not just the numerator.

    2. Relevant equations

    mv = mv[tex]^{1}[/tex] +(Am)V

    and then a very similar equation, except for classical kinetic energy. I can't get the superscripts to work and what not, but it's just as above for momentum except the velocities are squared and the terms have a 1/2 in front.

    v is the velocity of the neutron before collision, v1 is the velocity after collision, and V is the velocity of the nucleus after collision, and m is the mass of the neutron.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Basically, every time I try this problem I get very close to the answer as above, except in place of the 1 in the numerator I get v/V, and for the 1 in the denominator I get vprime/V. I do this by putting the energy of the neutron after the collision over the energy of the collision before, finding that it equals to v[tex]^{1}[/tex] over v. Then I substitute the momentum equation and get my answer. I can't see what is wrong with this and yet I can not get to the answer, and it seems like my answer directly contradicts the equation they have in the book, as neither of those fractions can be assumed to be very close to 1.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  2. jcsd
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