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SAT® Subject Test in Physics

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Alpha Decay KE and Momentum

SATPHY-KE4KJM

A stationary nucleus undergoes alpha decay. In alpha decay, a helium nucleus is "kicked out" of the parent nucleus. The daughter particles are the alpha particle (the small, low mass, helium nucleus) and the remainder of the large, massive, nucleus.

How do the momentum magnitudes and the kinetic energy amounts for these particles compare immediately after the decay?

A
Momentum Magnitudes same for both particles
Kinetic Energy Amounts greater for alpha particle
B
Momentum Magnitudes same for both particles
Kinetic Energy Amounts same for both particles
C
Momentum Magnitudes greater for alpha particle
Kinetic Energy Amounts greater for massive nucleus
D
Momentum Magnitudes same for both particles
Kinetic Energy Amounts greater for massive nucleus
E
Momentum Magnitudes greater for alpha particle
Kinetic Energy Amounts same for both particles