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Question 2

Suppose you are given a chance to repeat the alpha-particle scattering experiment using a thin sheet of solid hydrogen in place of the gold foil. (Hydrogen is a solid at temperatures below 14 K.) What results do you expect?

Answer

In the alpha-particle scattering experiment, if a thin sheet of solid hydrogen is used in place of a gold foil, then the scattering angle would not be large enough. This is because the mass of hydrogen (1.67 × 10 −27 kg) is less than the mass of incident α−particles (6.64 × 10 −27 kg). Thus, the mass of the scattering particle is more than the target nucleus (hydrogen).

As a result, the α−particles would not bounce back if solid hydrogen is used in the α-particle scattering experiment.

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