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Question 5


In the form of radioactive decay known as alpha decay, an unstable nucleus emits a helium-atom nucleus, which is called analpha particle. An alpha particle contains two protons and two neutrons, thus having mass m=4u and charge q=2e. Suppose a uranium nucleus with 92 protons decays into thorium, with 90 protons, and an alpha particle. The alpha particle is initially at rest at the surface of the thorium nucleus, which is 15 fm in diameter.

Part A: What is the speed of the alpha particle when it is detected in the laboratory? Assume the thorium nucleus remains at

Express your answer to two significant figures and include the appropriate units.

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