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Old Apr 21st 2013, 01:38 AM   #1
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Simple nuclear reaction

Hey, had a really basic one here and I wanted to double check if I'm missing something. We have a nuclear reaction where an alpha particle strikes an Si-29. We know that a proton is emitted and then the task is to find what's on the right hand side of the reaction formula. Well, I simply went the route of assuming that mass and charge must be preserved and thus show up both before and after the reaction and wrote out what's in the attached image. So yea, basically I'm just wondering if it's that easy or if there's something I'm overlooking?
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Old Apr 21st 2013, 11:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Devlan View Post
Hey, had a really basic one here and I wanted to double check if I'm missing something. We have a nuclear reaction where an alpha particle strikes an Si-29. We know that a proton is emitted and then the task is to find what's on the right hand side of the reaction formula. Well, I simply went the route of assuming that mass and charge must be preserved and thus show up both before and after the reaction and wrote out what's in the attached image. So yea, basically I'm just wondering if it's that easy or if there's something I'm overlooking?
Looks good except that an alpha particle is "He" instead of "H." A typo I presume.

-Dan

I changed my mind. Your charge is not conserved. Why did you include the electron? (And, if you must include the electron you are going to need to include an electron anti-neutrino as well.)
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Last edited by topsquark; Apr 21st 2013 at 11:11 AM.
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Old Apr 21st 2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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Yea, that's the point where I was hesitating. But my thinking was that on the left hand side there are 16 positive charges and 16 negative charges (no ions). Having one proton flapping about on its own, doesn't that require one electron to turn up somewhere?
And just to double check that I get the electron anti-neutrino part right, this is to balance the energy/mass difference between bound and free particles, right?
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