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Deuteron is a bound state of a neutron and a proton with a binding energy B = 2.2 MeV. A γ -ray of energy E is aimed at a deuteron nucleus to try to break it into a (neutron + proton) such that the n and p move in the direction of the incident γ-ray. If E = B, show that this cannot happen. Hence calculate how much bigger than B must E be for such a process to happen.


Answers (1)

A deuteron has a binding energy B, = 2.2 MeV

The kinetic energies of neutrons and protons are Kn, Kp, respectively.

pn and pp are the momenta of neutron and proton

E – B = Kn + Kp

B must be B2/4mc2 so that B will be much bigger than E.

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