Mott vs Rutherford Scattering: Wave-Particle Duality of MeV Carbon, and Boron Ion Scattering from Thin Graphite Foil

Track Date and time Hall Duration
Contributed Lectures Monday, 15. June 2015., 11:00 Orhideja Hall 20’

Wei-Kan Chu (1), Quark Y. Chen (2), K. B. Ma (deceased) (1)

(1) Department of Physics and Texas Center for Superconductivity at University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204-5002, USA
(2) Dept. of Phys, SYS Univ, Taiwan, and Univ. of Houston

In Rutherford scattering experiments, we always treat ions as particle where classical mechanics such as conservation of energy and conservation of momentum during scattering holds. Mott Scattering is a special case in which ion projectile is identical to the target atom such as C12 scattered from C12, and Quantum interference occurs due to the ambiguity of scattered particle and the recoiled particle. As a consequence, angular dependence of the particle yield is highly oscillatory, and this is recognized and documented before. It is interesting to note that the de Broglie wavelength of MeV particle is extremely small.  For example, 4 MeV C12 has a wavelength of 8.3 fm, yet behaves like a wave while scattered from C12. 

In this talk, we will show experimental results of C12 –C12 scattering experiment vs B11 scattered from graphite. One is understood by QM, while the other is purely classical.  This scattering experimental comparison demonstrates the wave-particle duality of ion beam.   We will draw comparison of ion beam wave properties with Young’s interference experiment on light beam going thought a double slits.  In the talk we will also propose future experiments to explore more QM wave nature of ion beam.