B Doubt regarding Rutherford's Alpha Scattering Experiment and Impact Parameter

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1. Nov 23, 2016

Bloopy

It is mentioned in my Textbook that if alpha-particle has large impact parameter, it gets scattered through small angles and vice versa.

I understand that impact parameter is defined as the perpendicular distance between the path of a projectile and the center of the nucleus.

I am unsure how the aforementioned fact is explained?

Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
2. Nov 23, 2016

Staff: Mentor

How does the Coulomb (electric) force between the alpha-particle and nucleus vary with distance?

3. Nov 23, 2016

Bloopy

It is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

4. Nov 23, 2016

Staff: Mentor

So if the impact parameter becomes larger, what happens to the force?

5. Nov 23, 2016

Bloopy

Force reduces drastically. Hence the scattering occurs through small angle. Understood.