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Radium decomposes radioactively

  1. Oct 22, 2012 #1
    Radium decomposes radioactively to form radon (atomic number 86, which is also the number of protons in the nucleus) by emitting an alpha-particle from its nucleus.

    The mass of an alpha-particle is 6.6404 x 10^-24 grams.

    What is the force of repulsion between the radon nucleus and the alpha-particle, when the distance between them is 5 x 10^-11 cm?

    What is the acceleration of the alpha-particle at this distance?

    I am not sure what equation I need to use to solve this equation.

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2012 #2

    phyzguy

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    Try looking up Coulomb's law.
     
  4. Oct 22, 2012 #3
    Coulomb's law is F = k x ((force1 x force2)/r^2)

    Where k is 8.99 x 10^9

    and r = distance between them which is 5 x 10^-11

    I do not know how to get the force of each particle.

    Some more help would be appreciated!
     
  5. Oct 22, 2012 #4

    phyzguy

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    No, that's not Coulomb's law. Coulombs law is
    Force = k x ((charge1 x charge2)/r^2)
     
  6. Oct 22, 2012 #5
    So i do not know what the alpha-particles charge is, but i can look up radon's charge right?

    EDIT
    So the alpha-particle's charge is the opposite of what radium loses?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  7. Oct 22, 2012 #6

    phyzguy

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    Do you know what an alpha particle is? You should be able to look up its charge also.
     
  8. Oct 22, 2012 #7
    The entire question was in my first post. The difference between radium to radon is 88 -> 86 so would charge 1 be 2 and charge 2 be -2?
     
  9. Oct 22, 2012 #8

    phyzguy

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    No. You should know or be able to find:

    (1) What is the charge on a Radon nucleus?
    (2) What is an alpha particle and what is its charge?
     
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