7D50.35 - Rutherford Scattering

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Rutherford Scattering
Nuclear Scattering
Area of Study:
Modern Physics
Rutherford Scattering Apparatus, Different Diameter Targets, Touch Sensitive Tape, Large Protractor.

Place the scattering unit on a table and tape a new length of touch tape around the outer diameter.  Select and install the desired diameter target.  Place the cardboard screen over the target if it is desired to hide the target size from the class.  Find the center of the target by adjusting the screw bolt that governs the position of the gun.  Each Plexiglas shim is 1/2 cm wide.  By adding or subtracting these from the area between the adjusting bolt and the gun mounting shaft the gun may be easily moved in precise steps when shooting at the target.  Measuring the scattering angle of the shot pellet will give a reasonably accurate target diameter.

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  • S-255: "Marbles on Base of Book Rack", DICK and RAE Demo Notebook.
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  • Bobby Mercer, "Black Box", Junk Drawer Chemistry, 2016, p. 52.
  • W. Bolton, "The Scattering of Particles by "Atoms"", Book 3 - Atomic Physics, Physics Experiments and Projects, 1968, p. 79-80.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.