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

  1. Nov 23, 2016 #1
    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. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2016 #2

    jtbell

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    Staff: Mentor

    How does the Coulomb (electric) force between the alpha-particle and nucleus vary with distance?
     
  4. Nov 23, 2016 #3
    It is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
     
  5. Nov 23, 2016 #4

    jtbell

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    Staff: Mentor

    So if the impact parameter becomes larger, what happens to the force?
     
  6. Nov 23, 2016 #5
    Force reduces drastically. Hence the scattering occurs through small angle. Understood.
     
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