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Homework Help: Proton Collision and Coulomb Barrier

  1. Sep 25, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What temperature would be required for two protons to collide if quantum mechanical tunneling is neglected? Assume that nuclei having velocities ten times the root mean square (rms) value for the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution can overcome the Coulomb barrier (which you can consider to be overcome when r = 2 fm). Compare your answer with the estimated central temperature of the Sun.

    2. Relevant equations
    Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution (?)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I feel like I'm probably completely oversimplifying this problem, but in my mind I should just be able to find what the vrms is for protons normally and then use vrms find vrms=10vnormal to find the velocity, and then plug it in to the normal rms equation once more to find the temperature. My only problem is that I don't think there's any way this problem is THAT simple.
  2. jcsd
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