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Q. 41

Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics
Found in: Page 763

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Short Answer

Energetic particles, such as protons, can be detected with a silicon detector. When a particle strikes a thin piece of silicon, it creates a large number of free electrons by ionizing silicon atoms. The electrons flow to an electrode on the surface of the detector, and this current is then amplified and detected. In one experiment, each incident proton creates, on average, electrons; the electron current is amplified by a factor of ; and the experimenters record an amplified current of . How many protons are striking the detector per second?

The number of protons that are striking the detector per second is

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Given Information

Number of electrons

Amplified by a factor

Amplified current

Step 2: Explanation

In this case, is the number of protons falling per second.

An elementary charge of equals a proton current of .

This current will be measured by multiplying it by the silicon sheet multiplication factor (let it be ), then multiplying it by the amplification factor (let it be ).

That is,

As a consequence, it is obvious that protons will flow at a relatively high rate

Substitute the expression,

Step 3: Final Answer 

Hence, the number of protons that are striking the detector per second is

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