Newton's first law of motion

Thread Starter

logearav

Joined Aug 19, 2011
243
Newton's first law of motion deals with inertia of bodies. According to this law, " Every body continues in its state of rest or of uniform motion in straight line, unless compelled by an external force."

My question is , " How spontaneous decay occurs in heavy elements resulting in alpha, decay and gamma emission, without any external force acting on it"?
 

Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,182
My question is , " How spontaneous decay occurs in heavy elements resulting in alpha, decay and gamma emission, without any external force acting on it"?
I 'm not sure I follow. What do you mean by those words? Please give an example or elaborate.
Do you talk about classic Newtonian physics or atomic physics?
 

Thread Starter

logearav

Joined Aug 19, 2011
243
GeoRacer,
A body will deform only when we apply some force on it. In a similar way, we bombard a nucleus with a neutron to induce fission in the nuclei. But, how heavy nuclei spontaneously decay, without application of any external force, what we call it as radioactivity.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
Newton's first law of motion deals with inertia of bodies. According to this law, " Every body continues in its state of rest or of uniform motion in straight line, unless compelled by an external force."

My question is , " How spontaneous decay occurs in heavy elements resulting in alpha, decay and gamma emission, without any external force acting on it"?
Bill hit the mark.

Newtonian physics is totally inadequate to describe nuclear reactions. The question of how spontaneous decay occurs falls into the realm of Quantum Field Theory. This theory is many layers removed from Newtonian physics because it incorporates key ideas from quantum mechanics and relativistic physics, and goes even further in that it is currently the only accepted working theory (and a pretty good one too) that can capture the destruction and creation of new particles to/from energy.
 
Last edited:

schoolie

Joined Oct 5, 2011
5
Newton's law can be interpreted as "center of mass of a body" will continue in its state of .....

when a particle is emitted the atom gains momentum in the other direction. It is something like floating in space and you throw away your shoes, whereby you yourself gain some momentum. There is no net change in momentum of center of mass. External force causes movement of the center of mass.
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,146
You know, an idea just hit me (and it hurt). Particles spontaneously popping in and out of existence sure sounds like other dimensions are involved.
 
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