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Homework Help: (Very) Short Question on Nuclear Reaction

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The nuclear reaction X yields Y + Z occurs spontaneously. If MX, MY, and MZ are the masses of the three particles, which of the following relationships is true?

    A Mx - Mz < My
    B Mx = Mz + My
    C Mx < My + Mz
    D Mx - My < Mz
    E Mx > My + Mz

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I believe it is choice C because you know the nucleons mass must be greater than the nucleus because of E=mc^2 since they have more total energy.... but A and D are equivelant mathematically....
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2010 #2
    any help? need some clarification...
  4. Apr 29, 2010 #3
    Alright, new perspective....

    If it occurs spontaneously... there must be a loss of free energy right? So that must mean a loss of mass? Which means Mx > My + Mz?
  5. Apr 29, 2010 #4
    this is antagonizing... any help?
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