# Form Factor and Neutron Scattering

• rwilliams184
In summary, Rutherford scattering is not applicable to neutron probing of nuclei due to the tiny size of the nucleus. The form factor used in x-ray and magnetic neutron scattering is the Fourier transform of the electron density around the nucleus, and for a delta distribution, there is no form factor. The kinetic energy required for probing a given radius is given by p^2/2m, where p is the momentum and m is the mass.
rwilliams184
Hi all

Can someone please describe how the form factor used in Rutherford scattering is applicable to neutron probing of nuclei?

Also, is the kinetic energy required to probe a given radius simply given by the de Broglie wavelength where momentum, p >= h-bar / Radius ? (Relativity neglected)

Thanks

For nuclear scattering for neutrons there is no form factor, because the nucleus is so tiny.

X-ray and magnetic neutron scattering probe the electrons which are quite extended. The form factor is basically the Fourier transform of the electron density around the nucleus. The FT of a delta distribution is constant, hence no form factor for nuclear scattering.

Kinetic energy is p^2/2m

## 1. What is the form factor in neutron scattering?

The form factor in neutron scattering is a mathematical term that describes how the scattering cross-section of a material varies with the momentum transfer of the neutron. It takes into account the atomic structure and composition of the material.

## 2. How is the form factor calculated in neutron scattering experiments?

The form factor is calculated by analyzing the scattering pattern of neutrons as they interact with a material. This pattern is compared to theoretical models and equations to determine the form factor.

## 3. What factors affect the form factor in neutron scattering?

The form factor can be affected by various factors such as the size and shape of the atoms in the material, the distribution of atomic nuclei, and the presence of magnetic moments or electron clouds within the material.

## 4. How is neutron scattering used to study the form factor of materials?

Neutron scattering techniques, such as small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and neutron diffraction, are used to study the form factor of materials. These techniques involve shooting a beam of neutrons at the material and analyzing the scattered neutrons to determine the form factor.

## 5. What is the significance of understanding the form factor in neutron scattering experiments?

Understanding the form factor in neutron scattering experiments is crucial for accurately interpreting the data and extracting meaningful information about the material being studied. It can provide valuable insights into the atomic structure and composition of materials, which is important for various scientific and technological applications.

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