Authors: Greg Fuchs, Walt Peck
Lab Manual: Download
Arrangments must be made to pick up and return the equipment for this lab.
Abstract: This lab is a 2-D analog to the materials characterization technique of Rutherford backscattering (RBS). It introduces the concept of looking at the angular distribution of scattered particles to measure/characterize the scattering target. In RBS, the scattering targets are the atoms, and the scattered particles are alpha-particles. In this experiment, we instead use a metal target with ball-bearings that scatter. Students repeatedly launch the ball bearings down the grooves of a ramp to simulate a uniform flux of alpha particles. The data is collected by the mark it leaves on a carbon-paper strip. By plotting and analyzing the data, students can learn about 2-D scattering (and by analogy, 3-D scattering) as well as calculate the size of the target.