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IPHO 2003 Solution − Theoretical Question 3 (prelimary) p.

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Solution- Theoretical Question 3


Part A
Neutrino Mass and Neutron Decay
  
(a) Let (c E e , cq e ) , (c 2 E p , cq p ) , and (c 2 E v , cq v ) be the energy-momentum 4-
2

vectors of the electron, the proton, and the anti-neutrino, respectively, in the rest
  
frame of the neutron. Notice that E e , E p , E , q e , q p , q are all in units of mass.
The proton and the anti-neutrino may be considered as forming a system of total

rest mass M c , total energy c 2 E c , and total momentum cq c . Thus, we have
  
Ec  E p  Ev , qc  q p  qv , M c2  Ec2  qc2 (A1)

Note that the magnitude of the vector q c is denoted as qc. The same convention
also applies to all other vectors.
Since energy and momentum are conserved in the neutron decay, we have
Ec  Ee  mn (A2)
 
q c  q e (A3)
When squared, the last equation leads to the following equality
qc2  q e2  Ee2  me2 (A4)
From Eq. (A4) and the third equality of Eq. (A1), we obtain
E c2  M c2  Ee2  me2 (A5)
With its second and third terms moved to the other side of the equality, Eq. (A5)
may be divided by Eq. (A2) to give
1
Ec  Ee  ( M c2  me2 ) (A6)
mn
As a system of coupled linear equations, Eqs. (A2) and (A6) may be solved to give
1
Ec  (m 2  me2  M c2 ) (A7)
2m n n
1
Ee  (m 2  me2  M c2 ) (A8)
2mn n
Using Eq. (A8), the last equality in Eq. (A4) may be rewritten as
1
qe  ( mn2  me2  M c2 ) 2  ( 2mn m e ) 2
2m n
(A9)
1
 ( mn  m e  M c )( mn  me  M c )(mn  me  M c )(mn  me  M c )
2m n
Eq. (A8) shows that a maximum of E e corresponds to a minimum of M c2 .
Now the rest mass M c is the total energy of the proton and anti-neutrino pair in
their center of mass (or momentum) frame so that it achieves the minimum
M  m p  mv (A10)
when the proton and the anti-neutrino are both at rest in the center of mass frame.
Hence, from Eqs. (A8) and (A10), the maximum energy of the electron E = c2Ee is
IPHO 2003 Solution − Theoretical Question 3 (prelimary) p.2/5

E max 
c2
 
m 2  me2  (m p  mv ) 2  1.292569 MeV  1.29 MeV (A11)*1
2m n n
When Eq. (A10) holds, the proton and the anti-neutrino move with the same
velocity vm of the center of mass and we have
vm q qp q q
 ( v ) | E  Emax  ( )|  ( c ) | E  Emax  ( e ) | M c m p  mv (A12)
c Ev E p E  Emax Ec Ec
where the last equality follows from Eq. (A3). By Eqs. (A7) and (A9), the last
expression in Eq. (A12) may be used to obtain the speed of the anti-neutrino when
E = Emax. Thus, with M = mp+mv, we have
vm (mn  me  M )(mn  me  M )(mn  me  M )(mn  me  M )

c mn2  me2  M 2 (A13)*
 0.00126538  0.00127
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Alternative Solution]

Assume that, in the rest frame of the neutron, the electron comes out with
 
momentum cq e and energy c2Ee, the proton with cq p and c 2 E p , and the anti-
 
neutrino with cq v and c 2 E v . With the magnitude of vector q denoted by the
symbol q, we have
E 2p  m 2p  q 2p , E v2  mv2  qv2 , Ee2  me2  q e2 (1A)

Conservation of energy and momentum in the neutron decay leads to


E p  Ev  mn  E e (2A)
  
q p  qv   qe (3A)
When squared, the last two equations lead to
E 2p  Ev2  2 E p E v  (mn  Ee ) 2 (4A)
 
q 2p  q v2  2q p  q v  qe2  Ee2  me2 (5A)
Subtracting Eq. (5A) from Eq. (4A) and making use of Eq. (1A) then gives
 
m 2p  mv2  2( E p E v  q p  q v )  mn2  me2  2mn E e (6A)
or, equivalently,
 
2mn E e  mn2  me2  m 2p  mv2  2( E p Ev  q p  q v ) (7A)
   
If  is the angle between q p and q v , we have q p  q v  q p q v cos  q p q v so that
Eq. (7A) leads to the relation
2mn Ee  mn2  me2  m 2p  mv2  2( E p E v  q p q v )
(8A)
Note that the equality in Eq. (8A) holds only if  = 0, i.e., the energy of the electron
c2Ee takes on its maximum value only when the anti-neutrino and the proton move in
the same direction.
Let the speeds of the proton and the anti-neutrino in the rest frame of the neutron

1
An equation marked with an asterisk contains answer to the problem.
IPHO 2003 Solution − Theoretical Question 3 (prelimary) p.3/5

be c p and c v , respectively. We then have q p   p E p and qv   v E v . As shown


in Fig. A1, we introduce the angle  v ( 0   v   / 2 ) for the antineutrino by

q v  mv tan  v , Ev  mv2  q v2  mv sec  v ,  v  q v / Ev  sin  v (9A)

Ev
qv
Figure A1
v
mv

Similarly, for the proton, we write, with 0   p   / 2 ,


q p  m p tan  p , E p  m 2p  q 2p  m p sec  p ,  p  q p / E p  sin  p (10A)

Eq. (8A) may then be expressed as


1  sin  p sin  v
2mn Ee  mn2  me2  m 2p  mv2  2m p mv ( ) (11A)
cos  p cos  v
The factor in parentheses at the end of the last equation may be expressed as
1  sin  p sin  v 1  sin  p sin  v  cos  p cos v 1  cos( p   v )
 1   1  1 (12A)
cos  p cos v cos p cos v cos p cos v
and clearly assumes its minimum possible value of 1 when  p =  v, i.e., when the
anti-neutrino and the proton move with the same velocity so that  p =  v. Thus, it
follows from Eq. (11A) that the maximum value of Ee is
1
( Ee ) max  (mn2  me2  m 2p  mv2  2m p mv )
2mn
(13A)*
1
 [mn2  me2  (m p  mv ) 2 ]
2mn
and the maximum energy of the electron E = c2Ee is
E max  c 2 ( E e ) max  1.292569 MeV  1.29 MeV (14A)*
When the anti-neutrino and the proton move with the same velocity, we have,
from Eqs. (9A), (10A), (2A) ,(3A), and (1A), the result

qpqv q p  qv qe Ee2  me2


v   p      (15A)
E p E v E p  E v mn  E e mn  E e

Substituting the result of Eq. (13A) into the last equation, the speed vm of the anti-
neutrino when the electron attains its maximum value Emax is, with M = mp+mv, given
by
IPHO 2003 Solution − Theoretical Question 3 (prelimary) p.4/5

vm ( Ee ) 2max  me2 (mn2  me2  M 2 ) 2  4mn2 me2


 (  v ) max Ee  
c mn  ( Ee ) max 2mn2  (mn2  me2  M 2 )
(mn  me  M )(mn  me  M )(mn  me  M )(mn  me  M ) (16A)*

mn2  me2  M 2
 0.00126538  0.00127
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Part B
Light Levitation
(b) Refer to Fig. B1. Refraction of light at the spherical surface obeys Snell’s law and
leads to
n sin  i  sin  t (B1)
Neglecting terms of the order ( /R)3or higher in sine functions, Eq. (B1) becomes
n i   t (B2)
For the triangle FAC in Fig. B1, we have z
   t   i  n i   i  (n  1) i
(B3)
F
Let f 0 be the frequency of the incident light. If
n p is the number of photons incident on the plane
surface per unit area per unit time, then the total t
number of photons incident on the plane surface 
per unit time is n p 2 . The total power P of
A
photons incident on the plane surface is i
(n p 2 )( hf 0 ) , with h being Planck’s constant.
Hence, n
np 
P i
(B4)
 2 hf 0 C
The number of photons incident on an annular disk 
of inner radius r and outer radius r +dr on the plane
surface per unit time is n p (2rdr ) , where Fig. B1
r  R tan  i  R i . Therefore,
n p ( 2rdr )  n p (2R 2 ) i d i
(B5)
The z-component of the momentum carried away per unit time by these photons
when refracted at the spherical surface is
hf o hf 2
dFz  n p ( 2rdr ) cos   n p 0 ( 2R 2 )(1  )  i d i
c c 2
(B6)
hf (n  1) 2 3
 n p 0 (2R 2 )[ i   i ] d i
c 2
so that the z-component of the total momentum carried away per unit time is
IPHO 2003 Solution − Theoretical Question 3 (prelimary) p.5/5

hf 0  im (n  1) 2 3
Fz  2R 2 n p ( ) 0 [ i   i ] d i
c 2
(B7)
hf (n  1) 2 2
 R 2 n p ( 0 )  im
2
[1   im ]
c 4


where tan  im    im . Therefore, by the result of Eq. (B5), we have
R
R 2 P hf 0  2 (n  1) 2  2 P ( n  1) 2  2
Fz  ( ) [1  ]  [1  ] (B8)
 2 hf 0 c R 2 4R 2 c 4R 2
The force of optical levitation is equal to the sum of the z-components of the forces
exerted by the incident and refracted lights on the glass hemisphere and is given by
P P P ( n  1) 2  2 (n  1) 2  2 P
 ( Fz )   [1  ]  (B9)
c c c 4R 2 4R 2 c
Equating this to the weight mg of the glass hemisphere, we obtain the minimum
laser power required to levitate the hemisphere as
4mgcR 2
P (B10)*
(n  1) 2  2