1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Rutherford scattering problem

  1. Oct 8, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Alpha particle with kinetic energy 6MeV is scatterd on gold nucleus (A=197).
    Is Rutherford cross-section formula valid for this scattering? Explain !

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    The Coulomb barrier is Ec=(1.03MeV)*(Z1*Z2)/(A1^1/3+A2^1/3)
    Z1=79 , Z2=2 , A1=197 , A2=4
    The 6 Mev alpha particle will not go through the barrier, forces between alpha particle and gold nucleus will be coulombic so I think it is valid to use Rutherford cross-section.
    But I found that Rutherford cross-section formula is valid if
    [tex]Z1*Z2*\alpha<<1[/tex] is true.Since for Z1=79,Z2=2,alpha=1/137 this is not <<1 ,
    so rutherford cross-section is not valid.
    Where I'm going wrong?
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted