The plutonium atom is initially at rest.
From the conservation of momentum:
mpuvpu = mHevHe - mUvU (The particles move in opposite directions after slitting).
0 = 4vHe - 235vU Equation 1
From the conservation of energy:
One of the most worrisome waste products of a nuclear reactor is plutonium 239 (239Pu). This nucleus is radioactive and decays by splitting into a helium-4 nucleus and a uranium-235 nucleus (4He + 235U), the latter of which is also radioactive and will itself decay some time later. The energy emitted in the plutonium decay is 8.40 × 10-13 J and is entirely converted to kinetic energy of the helium and uranium nuclei. The mass of the helium nucleus is 6.68 × 10-27 kg, while that of the uranium is 3.92 × 10-25 kg (note that the ratio of the masses is 4 to 235).
(a) Calculate the speeds of the two nuclei, assuming the plutonium nucleus is originally at rest.
(b) About how much kinetic energy does each nucleus carry away?
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