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EM scattering

  1. May 21, 2009 #1
    Would I be right in saying the difference between Rayleigh and Tomson scattering is that Tomson involves scattering off a free electron, whereas in Rayleigh the incident wave is scattered off a bound nucleus?

    Alos are there any other differences in the two scattering processes?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2009 #2
    One final thing. Are both elastic scattering?
  4. May 21, 2009 #3
    In the classical limit, Thomson scattering is treated as elastic scattering off a single "free" electron; If the electron atomic binding energy is B, and electron rest mass is m0c2, then B << hv << m0c2 for Thomson scattering. It is the classical limit of Compton scattering, which is inelastic. The energy of the scattered photon is given by
    (1/hv') -(1/hv) = 1/[m0c2(1-cos{theta})]
    which shows that the scattered photon hv' at theta=90 degrees is nearly exactly the same energy as the incident photon hv for UV and soft x-rays (hv ~ 1000 eV).
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