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About scattering length

  1. Mar 26, 2015 #1

    KFC

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    Hi all,
    I am reading some materials on the scattering. There is simple model to consider atom as a rigid body but with radius replaced by the so-called scattering length. I didn't learn the scattering theory systematically but my understanding on the scattering length is the minimum separation between two atoms when the scatter or interaction becomes significant. I do some research on some typical atoms like sodium. But what confusing me is the article gives 2 scattering length labeled as ##a_{1,-1}## and ##a_{2,2}##, which both are in some unit of ##a_0##. So why there are two different scattering length? Is ##a_0## the bohr radius?
     
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  3. Mar 27, 2015 #2

    vanhees71

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    2016 Award

    As any physically relevant quantity on scattering, the scattering length is a parameter derived from the S-matrix. It characterizes low-energy (long-wavelength) scattering on a short-ranged potential. For first details, see the pretty good Wikipedia article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scattering_length
     
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