Question
(a) Triply charged uranium-235 and uranium-238 ions are being separated in a mass spectrometer. (The much rarer uranium-235 is used as reactor fuel.) The masses of the ions are $3.90 \times 10^{-25} \textrm{ kg}$ and $3.95 \times 10^{-25} \textrm{ kg}$, respectively, and the travel at $3.00 \times 10^5 \textrm{ m/s}$ in a $0.250 \textrm{ T}$ field. What is the separation between their paths when they hit a target after traversing a semicircle? (b) Discuss whether this distance between their paths seems to be big enough to be practical in the separation of uranium-235 from uranium-238.
1. $2.5 \textrm{ cm}$
2. Yes, this distance is big enough since one could harvest the different isotopes when they are separated by $2.5 \textrm{ cm}$.
Solution Video