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I How does one find interaction radius for Coulomb barrier?

  1. Nov 11, 2017 #1
    For a proton striking an atomic nucleus (in a Cockcroft-Walton accelerator, for example), the Coulomb barrier must be overcome. The calculation of the Coulomb barrier is U = k Z1Z2 e2 / r
    r is interaction radius. How can I find that? For a proton to enter the atomic nucleus what would it be?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    It is simply the electrostatic potential for two electric charges at distance r. What is unclear?
    r will typically be about the sum of the nuclear radii, there are formulas to estimate that.
  4. Nov 12, 2017 #3
    Ok, thank you! So it ought to be the radius of the proton + the target radius. Thank you!
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