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15. Rutherford Scattering

The scattering of alpha particles by nuclei. Nearly monoenergetic alpha particles (He nuclei) in a collimated beam from an source are scattered from thin foils of gold or titanium, and the intensities of the scattered alpha particles are measured with a silicon barrier detector at various scattering angles.

The energies of the incident alpha particles can be reduced by placing a gold foil in the beam. The differential scattering cross section of the target atoms is measured as a function of the angle of scattering, the energy of the particles, and the nuclear charge of the target atoms. The results are compared with the Rutherford theory of scattering by atomic nuclei.

Student Wiki: Rutherford Scattering

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References (certificates required)

  1. E. Rutherford, "The Scattering of alpha and beta Particles by Matter and the Structure of the Atom," Philos. Mag., 669-688 (1911).
  2. Geiger, H, "The Scattering of the ?-Particles by Matter", Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Containing Papers of a Mathematical and Physical Character, Vol. 83, No. 565. (Apr. 14, 1910), pp. 492-504.
  3. J.L. Eisberg, Fundamentals of Modern Physics, (Wiley, New York, 1961), "The Discovery of the Atomic Nucleus," pp. 87-109.
  4. A.C. Melissinos, Experiments in Modern Physics, (Academic Press, San Diego, 1966), "Solid-State Particle Detectors," pp. 208-217.
  5. A.C. Melissinos, Experiments in Modern Physics, (Academic Press, San Diego, 1966), "Rutherford Scattering," pp. 226-252.
  6. E. Segre, Nuclei and Particles, (W.A. Benjamin, Reading, MA 1977), Ch 2: "The Passage of Radiations through Matter," pp. 17-36.
  7. S. Gasiorowiez, Quantum Physics (John Wiley, Hoboken, 2003), "The Born Approximation," pp. 302-305.
  8. Gasiorowiez, "The Absorption of Radiation in Matter", Quantum Physics,p. 416-419

Selected Resources

  1. Stopping Power and Range Tables for Helium Ions
  2. Maestro software user manual
  3. Through The Wormhole: What are we Really Made of? MIT professor Steve Nahn discussing the experiment.



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