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# Solution toTheoretical Question 3

Part A
Neutrino Mass and Neutron Decay

(a) Let ( c 2 E e , cqe ) , ( c 2 E p , cq p ) , and ( c 2 E v , cqv ) be the energy-momentum 4-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 , qe , 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 Ec , and

total momentum cqc . Thus, we have

Ec = E p + Ev , qc = q p + qv , M c2 = E c2 qc2 (A1)

Note that the magnitude of the vector qc 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
E c + E e = mn (A2)

qc = qe (A3)
When squared, the last equation leads to the following equality

## qc2 = qe2 = E e2 me2 (A4)

From Eq. (A4) and the third equality of Eq. (A1), we obtain

E c2 M c2 = E e2 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)
2mn n
1
Ee = (m 2 + me2 M c2 ) (A8)
2m n 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 )
2mn

## Eq. (A8) shows that a maximum of Ee 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

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(M c )min = 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
E max =
c2
[ ]
m 2 + me2 (m p + mv ) 2 1.292569 MeV 1.29 MeV
2m n n
(A11)

When Eq. (A10) holds, the proton and the anti-neutrino move with the same velocity vm
of the center of mass and we have
v m qv qp q q
= = = c = e (A12)
c Ev E =E E
p max
c E =E
E
E = Emax c M =m + m
E
max c p v

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

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[Alternative Solution]

Assume that, in the rest frame of the neutron, the electron comes out with momentum

cqe and energy c2Ee, the proton with cq p and c 2 E p , and the anti-neutrino with cqv and

c 2 Ev . With the magnitude of vector q denoted by the symbol q, we have

## Conservation of energy and momentum in the neutron decay leads to

E p + Ev = mn E e (2A)

q p + qv = qe (3A)

## E 2p + Ev2 + 2 E p Ev = (mn Ee ) 2 (4A)

q 2p + qv2 + 2q p qv = qe2 = E e2 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 qv ) = mn2 + me2 2mn E e (6A)

or, equivalently,

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2mn E e = mn2 + me2 m 2p mv2 2( E p E v q p qv ) (7A)

If is the angle between q p and qv , we have q p qv = q p qv cos q p qv so that Eq. (7A)
leads to the relation

## 2mn E e mn2 + me2 m 2p mv2 2( E p Ev q p qv ) (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 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

Ev
qv

v Figure A1
mv

## 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 E e mn2 + me2 m 2p mv2 2m p mv (11A)
cos cos
p 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
( E e ) max = ( mn2 + me2 m 2p mv2 2m p mv )
2mn
(13A)
=
1
2mn
[
mn2 + me2 ( m p + mv ) 2 ]
and the maximum energy of the electron E = c2Ee is

## E max = c 2 ( Ee ) max 1.292569 MeV 1.29 MeV (14A)

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When the anti-neutrino and the proton move with the same velocity, we have, from Eqs.
(9A), (10A), (2A) ,(3A), and (1A), the result

qp q q p + qv qe E e2 me2
v = p = = v = = = (15A)
E p E v E p + E v mn Ee 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

## vm ( E e ) 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
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Part B
Light Levitation

(b) Refer to Fig. B1. Refraction of light at the spherical surface obeys Snells 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 t
unit area per unit time, then the total number of photons
incident on the plane surface per unit time is n p 2 . The
A
total power P of photons incident on the plane surface is i
(n p 2 )(hf 0 ) , with h being Plancks constant. Hence,
P n
np = (B4) i
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 (2rdr ) , where r = R tan i R i .
Fig. B1
Therefore,

## n p (2rdr ) n p (2R 2 ) i d i (B5)

The z-component of the momentum carried away per unit time by these photons when
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refracted at the spherical surface is

hf o hf 2
dFz = n p ( 2rdr ) cos n p 0 ( 2R 2 )1 i d i
c c 2
(B6)
hf 0 2 ( n 1) 2 3
np ( 2R ) i i d i
c 2
so that the z-component of the total momentum carried away per unit time is

hf im ( n 1) 2 3
Fz = 2R 2 n p 0 i i d i
c 0 2
(B7)
hf 0 2 ( n 1) 2
2
= R n p
2
im 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
4 R 2 c 4 R 2
(B8)
2 hf 0 c R 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 =
4 R 2
(B9)
c c c 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

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Marking Scheme

Theoretical Question 3
Neutrino Mass and Neutron Decay
Total Sub
Marking Scheme for Answers to the Problem
Scores Scores
Part A (a) The maximum energy of the electron and the corresponding speed of the
anti-neutrino.
4.0 pts. 4.0 0.5 use energy-momentum conservation and can convert it into
equations.
0.5 obtain an expression for E e that allows the determination of its
maximum value.
(0.5+0.2) for concluding that proton and anti-neutrino must move
with the same velocity when E e is maximum. (0.2 for the same
direction)

0.6 for establishing the minimum value of ( E p Ev q p qv ) to be
m p mv or a conclusion equivalent to it.
(0.5+0.1) for expression and value of Emax.
0.5 for concluding v = E e2 me2 /(mn Ee ) .
(0.5+0.1) for expression and value of vm /c.

Light Levitation
Part B (b) Laser power needed to balance the weight of the glass hemisphere.
0.3 for law of refraction n sin i = sin t .
4.0 pts 4.0 0.3 for making the linear approximation n i t .
0.4 for relation between angles of deviation and incidence.
0.3 for photon energy = h.
0.3 for photon momentum p = /c.
0.3 for momentum of incident photons per unit time = P/c.
0.6 for momentum of photons refracted per unit time as a function of
the angle of incidence.
0.4 for total momentum of photons refracted per unit time =
[1-(n-1)2 2/(4R2)]P/c.
0.4 for force of levitation = sum of forces exerted by incident and
refracted photons.
0.4 for force of levitation = (n-1)2 2P/(4cR 2).
0.3 for the needed laser power P = 4mgcR 2/(n-1)2 2.

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