1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Special relativity (A.P. French 7.5)

  1. Mar 24, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A particle of rest mass m and velocity v collides elastically with a stationary particle of rest mass M. Express the recoil and scattering angels in terms of the corresponding angles in the zero-momentum system. Show that your answers reduce to the non-relativistic ones if v<<c


    2. Relevant equations

    I think I have to show that (mc^2)/(1-(v/c)^2)^1/2 reduces to .5mv^2 by using the binomial theorem when v<<c. since momentum is related to kinetic energy.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    (not clear how to do it though) Please help me!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2012 #2

    vela

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor

    That's not what the question is asking you to do. In the center-of-mass system, say the particle with mass m scatters at an angle of ##\theta'##. What happens to the other particle? Now what does this collision look like as seen in the lab frame? What angle ##\theta## in the lab frame corresponds to the angle ##\theta'## in the COM frame?

    Once you figure that out, you're supposed to show it reduces to the non-relativistic equivalents when v<<c.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Special relativity (A.P. French 7.5)
  1. Special Relativity (Replies: 3)

  2. Special Relativity (Replies: 1)

Loading...