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Determination of scattering angle.

  1. Sep 16, 2011 #1
    Hi,

    When two particles collide in the centre of mass frame, they interact and then scatter. Am I right in thinking that the resultant scattering angles are completely arbitrary? If so is this a case of an effect with no cause? Just hoping someone can clear this up for me.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2011 #2

    Bill_K

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    The scattered wave has a probability distribution in θ, so you're right that when you detect an outgoing particle, its scattering angle will be random. Not a case of "an effect with no cause", however, it's just typical quantum mechanics.
     
  4. Sep 16, 2011 #3
    Thanks for the response!

    It is just typical quantum mechanics. I guess my question comes from my struggle to accept that anything is completely random.

    Not sure I can remember the undergrad proof of why things can be random. I should go and look it up!

    Could you say that the angle was somehow dependent upon tau?
     
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