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Can a powerful projectile electron drill through nucleus?

  1. Feb 2, 2016 #1
    For example, a cosmic electron projectile at 1TeV, is it possible to fly through a nucleus just like a bullet drills through a cake and makes the cake insensible recoil?
    After drill-trough, the electron may have some deviation from incident direction because the route may not exactly pass the center of nucleus.
    If it is true, are there holes in some nucleons?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
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  3. Feb 3, 2016 #2

    Orodruin

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    You seem to be thinking of electrons and nucleons as classical particles. This is a misconception and will not get you very far. Everything on the nuclear scale occurs in the realm of quantum physics.
     
  4. Feb 3, 2016 #3
    OK, let us think it quantumly: if a high energy projectile electron fly to the exact center of a nucleus, and a detector is located at other side of the said nucleus, just on the forward extension line of the electron movement, then can the detector receive the electron?
    Supposedly the detector can see the electron pass over the barrier nucleus, because quantum physics recognizes a small particle can "tunnel" through a bigger particle although obstacle does exist. Many researchers study nucleus structure and obtain results by projecting electron to penetrate nucleus from different angles. I not mean the electron projectile to fly through the nearby space of nucleus, but to penetrate.
    There is a assumption here: electron geometric size is far less than a nucleus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  5. Feb 3, 2016 #4

    Orodruin

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    This is a contradiction in terms.
     
  6. Feb 3, 2016 #5
    In some publications, I see figures depicting electron projectile pass through nucleus, even a single proton.

    For example: guidedtour03.l.gif
    It means high energy projectile can drill through nucleon, even damage or kill a nucleon to smaller fragment pieces.
     
  7. Feb 3, 2016 #6

    ZapperZ

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    At what point do you get the idea that these "pictures" are nothing more than a cartoon depiction to give a visual representation of what might happen?

    Zz.
     
  8. Feb 3, 2016 #7

    Orodruin

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    This. It is worth it to also underline the fact that the representation of the nucleons are also only pictorial and have very little to do with what is actually going on. The nucleus is a quantum object as well and the quarks are not three small balls. At the quantum level, the world works very differently from what you are used to.
     
  9. Feb 3, 2016 #8
    To my best understand on you guys replies, I conclude:
    1. no credit to whatever cartoon-like figures, just always think in quantum physics.
    2. no matter how energetic, the electron projectile can only reflect back, or say never pass through the barrier nucleus if it does hit a nucleus "face to face"; otherwise deflect around the nucleus if mishit.
     
  10. Feb 3, 2016 #9

    ZapperZ

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    Your "conclusion" is wrong. No one here said that an electron can't pass through without deflection. But this does NOT mean that it has "bore a hole" through the nucleus! This is ridiculous to even consider, as if we can drill holes into a nucleus like Swiss cheese! A nucleus is too small to even be "seen" with the best instruments that we have. What are the odds of observing these holes that, presumably, are even smaller? It is one thing to predict it, it is another to VERIFY it.

    The physics of particle collision/interaction is NOT as easy and simple as you think, or as what has been depicted in many pictures. It is why you only see cartoon pictures, rather than ACTUAL pictures.

    Zz.
     
  11. Feb 3, 2016 #10
    Oh, I see now, thanks to Zz and Orodruin!
     
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