Anomalous Scattering of α-Particles by Hydrogen and Helium

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IT is well known that when light is scattered by an object small compared with the wave-length, the scattered wave is spherically symmetrical. Similarly, in the wave mechanical treatment of the scattering of α-particles by hydrogen and helium, the ‘α-particle wave’ scattered by the nucleus will differ from that scattered by a Coulomb field only by the spherically symmetrical wave scattered by that region (small compared with the wave-length of the incident α-particles) where the interaction energy differs from the Coulomb value. Thus, without any specific model of the nucleus, we deduce that the anomalous scattering at a given velocity should be expressible in terms of a single parameter only, which determines the amplitude of this spherically symmetrical wave. Denoting by R the ratio of the number of α-particles scattered through an angle ø, to the number predicted by the inverse square law, it is shown in a recent paper1 that, for scattering in helium, where K is the single parameter referred to, and , being the velocity of the incident α-particles. A slightly simpler formula of the same type is found for scattering in hydrogen.

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  1. 1

    Taylor, Proc. Roy. Soc., A, vol. 134, p. 103; 1931.

  2. 2

    Rutherford and Chadwick, Phil. Mag., vol. 4, p. 605; 1927.

  3. 3

    Chadwick and Bieler, Phil. Mag., vol. 42, p. 923; 1921.

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TAYLOR, H. Anomalous Scattering of α-Particles by Hydrogen and Helium. Nature 129, 56 (1932) doi:10.1038/129056a0

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