Elastic scattering


Elastic scattering

In scattering theory and in particular in particle physics, elastic scattering is one of the specific forms of scattering. In this process, the energy of the incident particles is conserved, only their direction of propagation is modified (by interaction with other particles and/or a potential).

Electron elastic scattering

When an electron is an incident particle and it is diffracted in the Coulomb potential of atoms and molecules, the elastic scattering process is called Rutherford scattering. In many electron diffraction techniques like reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED), transmission electron diffraction (TED), and gas electron diffraction (GED), where the incident electrons have sufficiently high energy (>10 keV), the elastic electron scattering becomes the main component of the scattering process and the scattering intensity is expressed as a function of the momentum transfer defined as the difference between the momentum vector of the incident electron and that of the scattered electron.

Optical elastic scattering

When a photon penetrates into a medium composed of particles whose sizes are much smaller than the wavelength of the incident photon, the scattering process, also known as Rayleigh scattering, is also elastic. In this scattering process, the energy (and therefore the wavelength) of the incident photon is conserved and only its direction is changed. In this case, the scattering intensity is proportional to the fourth power of the reciprocal wavelength of the incident photon. Other types of scattering may occur such as Raman scattering where the scattered photon either gives energy to or takes energy from the medium.

See also

* Elastic collision in classical and relativistic mechanics.
* Inelastic scattering


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  • elastic scattering — noun Date: 1933 a scattering of particles as the result of an elastic collision …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • elastic scattering — Physics. the scattering of particles due to an elastic collision. [1930 35] * * * …   Universalium

  • elastic scattering cross-section — tampriosios sklaidos skerspjūvis statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. elastic scattering cross section vok. elastischer Streuquerschnitt, m rus. сечение упругого рассеяния, n pranc. section efficace de diffusion élastique, f …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • quasi-elastic scattering — kvazitamprioji sklaida statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. quasi elastic scattering vok. quasielastische Streuung, f rus. квазиупругое рассеяние, n pranc. diffusion quasi élastique, f …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • Scattering — is a general physical process where some forms of radiation, such as light, sound, or moving particles, are forced to deviate from a straight trajectory by one or more localized non uniformities in the medium through which they pass. In… …   Wikipedia

  • elastic collision — noun : a collision in which the total kinetic energy of the colliding pair remains unchanged and the total momentum is conserved although usually reapportioned between them * * * Mech. a collision in which the total kinetic energy of the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • scattering — /skat euhr ing/, adj. 1. distributed or occurring here and there at irregular intervals; scattered. 2. straggling, as an assemblage of parts. 3. (of votes) cast in small numbers for various candidates. 4. distributing, dispersing, or separating.… …   Universalium

  • Scattering from rough surfaces — Surface roughness scattering or interface roughness scattering is the elastic scattering of a charged particle by an imperfect interface between two different materials. It is an important effect in electronic devices which contain narrow layers …   Wikipedia

  • Elastic recoil detection — is a nuclear technique in materials science to obtain elemental concentration depth profiles in thin films. An energetic ion beam is directed at the sample to be depth profiled and (as in Rutherford backscattering) there is an elastic nuclear… …   Wikipedia


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