Disintegration of cosmic ray carbon nucleus

Disintegration of cosmic ray carbon nucleus

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Credit: C. POWELL, P. FOWLER & D. PERKINS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Disintegration of a cosmic ray carbon nucleus into 3 alpha particles in photographic emulsion. The carbon enters from the top & collides with a proton (a hydrogen nucleus) in the emulsion. The proton moves off towards the left. The carbon nucleus disintegrates into 3 alpha particles, which move straight down the picture with very little separation between them. Alpha particles are in fact the nuclei of helium atoms - clusters of 2 protons & 2 neutrons which are particularly stable. Note that their tracks are of equal density, because they have equal electric charge & ionising ability.

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Keywords: alpha particle, atomic, carbon, emulsion photo, emulsion photograph, image, in physics, nuclear emulsion, nucleus, nucleus of, particle, particle physics, proton

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