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The following three particles have the same total energy E: a) a photon b) a proton c) an...

Question:

The following three particles have the same total energy E:

a) a photon

b) a proton

c) an electron.

Rank the magnitudes of the particles' momenta from greatest to smallest.

Energy:

Moving matter has kinetic energy. However, by virtue of having mass, particles have a "rest" energy. Therefore, total energy of a particle is given by its motion (i.e. related to its momentum) and also the rest energy from its mass.

Answer and Explanation:

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Energy is the sum of the kinetic and rest energy:

{eq}\displaystyle E^2 = p^2 c^2 + m^2c^4 \Rightarrow p = \dfrac{1}{c} \sqrt{E^2 - m^2 c^4 } {/eq}

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Theory of Relativity: Definition & Example

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Chapter 25 / Lesson 1
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