A rocket engine for space travel using photon drive and matter–antimatter annihilation has been suggested. Suppose the fuel for a short-duration burn consists of N protons and N antiprotons, each with mass m. (a) Assume all the fuel is annihilated to produce photons. When the photons are ejected from the rocket, what momentum can be imparted to it? (b) What If? If half the protons and antiprotons annihilate each other and the energy released is used to eject the remaining particles, what momentum could be given to the rocket? (c) Which scheme results in the greater change in speed for the rocket?
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