SEC7-ShapesandSizes - SECTION 7: Nuclear Sizes and Shapes...

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1 SECTION 7: Nuclear Sizes and Shapes Imagine you suddenly find yourself immersed in a dense fog in an unfamiliar location and need to explore your surroundings before attempting to move on. How can you learn the nature of your environment without being able to see anything, especially if you left your GPS at home? Conveniently, you happen to be carrying a bag of golf balls and being a science major, you know that you can perform a scattering experiment to learn about things you cannot see. As you start tossing golf balls randomly in all directions, you hear a splash (water over there), no sound at all, except after a very long time (definitely don’t want to go that way), the thud of a ball striking wood (a house or a barn), the tinkle of broken glass (must be a house) and finally the plink-plink-plink of a ball bouncing on concrete (roadway ahead – proceed with caution). In essence, by scattering enough golf balls, you can map out your environment by using your ears as detectors to distinguish the wave lengths/frequencies of the sound wave emitted by the balls. For microscopic objects such as atoms and nuclei, the same principle applies. However, the scattering probe needs to have a much shorter wavelength than sound in order to be comparable to the size of the object under investigation. In this case the proper metric is the wave length λ of a photon or particle, given by the DeBroglie wave length (MeV) 7 . 28 v
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This note was uploaded on 07/02/2011 for the course CHEM-C 460 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '10 term at Indiana.

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SEC7-ShapesandSizes - SECTION 7: Nuclear Sizes and Shapes...

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