Quantum Physics For Dummies
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Say you have two particles of equal mass colliding in a lab frame (where one particle starts at rest). You want to show that the two particles end up traveling at right angles with respect to each other in the lab frame. Using quantum physics, you can.

Note that if m1 = m2, then


Note also that


You know that


tells you that the following is true:


So substituting


into the preceding equation gives you




the angles of the particles in the lab frame after the collision, add up to


are at right angles with respect to each other. Cool.

In this case, you can use the relations you’ve already derived to get these relations in the special case where m1 = m2:


About This Article

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About the book author:

Steven Holzner is an award-winning author of technical and science books (like Physics For Dummies and Differential Equations For Dummies). He graduated from MIT and did his PhD in physics at Cornell University, where he was on the teaching faculty for 10 years. He’s also been on the faculty of MIT. Steve also teaches corporate groups around the country.

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