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Just wondering

  1. Aug 29, 2005 #1
    i'm interested in physics, but i don't major in it...
    i look at physics in my free time, and i just came across the rutherford scattering formula and was wondering is it necessary to memorize it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2005 #2

    Gokul43201

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    Don't memorize it ! :eek:

    The important thing to take away from the formula is the [itex]1/(1-cos \theta)^2 [/itex] dependence of the scattering cross-section which is a signature of scattering from point-like objects.
     
  4. Aug 30, 2005 #3
    @@a
    the rutherford scattering formula is
    N(cita)=(NntZ^2*e^4)/{[(8pi*epsilon)^2]*(E^2)sin^4(cita/2)} right?
    because i don't see 1/[1-cos(cita)]^2...
     
  5. Aug 31, 2005 #4

    jtbell

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    Hint: browse through a list of trig identities. :wink:
     
  6. Aug 31, 2005 #5
    so sin^4(cita/2)=[1-cos^2(cita)]/2={1-[1+cos(2cita)]/2}/2?
     
  7. Aug 31, 2005 #6

    Gokul43201

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    Sorry, I didn't make this clear earlier. I was refering to the differential cross section. That's a more useful form of the scattering equation.
     
  8. Sep 1, 2005 #7
    differential cross section? what's that?
    @@
     
  9. Sep 1, 2005 #8

    Gokul43201

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    It's the number of scattering events that go through an elemental area on the surface of a unit sphere centered on the scattering center. In spherical co-ordinates, an area element on the unit sphere (or an element of solid angle) is given by [itex]d \Omega = sin \theta d \theta d \phi [/itex].

    The differential cross-section is [itex]dN/d \Omega[/itex]
     
  10. Sep 1, 2005 #9
    ok, thank you very much! :)
     
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