6805: 1094 Activities 2
Write your name and answers on this sheet and hand it in when requested.
Work with others nearby on these activities. Argue about
the answers but work efficiently!
Discussion questions on nuclear structure
Goal: Think about some of the key points motivating present and
future nuclear structure experiments. Discuss with your neighbor(s)
and ask questions!
- Give an explanation (based on your current understanding)
for the "periodic" part of the table of the elements (e.g., why
there are "magic" numbers).
- What is the "liquid drop" model of the nucleus and its
- What do you think
is(are) the motivation(s) to study rare isotopes experimentally and
Radius systematics from elastic scattering
Goal: Use elastic proton differential cross sections from a range of
nuclei to estimate the A dependence of their radii in the
form R = r0 An (i.e., you are to estimate n).
- Follow the "in class" link to the "proton-nucleus elastic scattering
figure" (proton-nucleus.png) and save it somewhere convenient on your computer
(e.g., the desktop).
- We will extract the values of the angular minima
from this figure using a plot digitizer. Google
"web digitizer" and one of the first links will be to WebPlotDigitizer.
If you are not already at the App page, click on "Launch App!".
You should see an x-y graph with some menus at the top left.
- Under the File menu, select "Load Image" and then "Browse ..." and
load the scattering figure. For "Choose plot type", choose "2D (X-Y) Plot"
and click on "Align Axes".
- Follow the pop-up instructions to align the axes: you first pick two definite x
points (use the zoom on the upper right),
like 5 and 30 degrees, and then two definite y points (pick anything, because
we won't use them). Click "Complete!" when done, then enter the x points
and y points (and y is a log scale), and click "OK".
- Now we are ready to find points! With "Add Point (A)" selected, successively
click on the minima of the solid lines (use the zoom!) for 40Ca,
48Ca, 90Zr, and 208Pb.
Use "Delete Point (D)" if you make
a mistake. When done, select "View Data". The first column will be the
theta values we need. How many digits do you estimate are significant?
Record below the angles with this many digits in a table with the value of A,
which is the total number of protons plus neutrons.
- Open the Mathematica notebook fitting_a_nonlinear_function_to_data.nb
from the "in class" link. The notebook contains an example of fitting a power
law to four data points. Run it first and ask any questions.
Then you can simply replace the example numbers with
your (A,θ) pairs and run the notebook again!
What do you get for n?
Now go back to your result for the radius of lead from the last session
and use it to find (roughly) r0. What value do you get
(show the details)?
- Is your result consistent with a liquid drop model of the nucleus
(for which the volume occupied by the nucleus is A times the volume for a
Goal: Think about how determining (or bounding) the size of a nucleus
with Rutherford scattering is different from how we did it with elastic
scattering. Also, test whether PhET Java simulations will work.
- From the 6805 home page, go to the simulations page and find
the PhET simulation of Rutherford scattering (use original). Start it up. You may
get some warning dialogs; agree to everything.
- Run the simulation for 208Pb. What are the proton and
- From the 28/29-Aug-2017
"Unit Q nuclear size excerpt", how is Rutherford scattering
used to put a bound on the nuclear size. Why is it only a
bound? (Hint: How does the electric field outside a spherical
distribution of charge depend on its radius?) What would you adjust in
the simulation to get the best bound?
- Does this application of Rutherford scattering
use quantum mechanics or classical physics?
- List some ways that Rutherford scattering is different from using
diffraction to determine the nuclear size?
Quick questions relating to nuclear and nucleon sizes
Goal: check that basic definitions are understood.
- What is a "halo nucleus"?
- What is the "neutron skin" of a nucleus?
- How can the neutron have an electric charge distribution if it is a
6805: 1094 Activities 2.
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