Theory of Multiple Coulomb Scattering from Extended Nuclei

Phys. Rev. 97, 492 – Published 15 January 1955
Leon N. Cooper and James Rainwater


Two independent methods are described for calculating the multiple scattering distribution for projected angle scattering resulting when very high-energy charged particles traverse a thick scatterer. The single scattering law for projected angle scattering is taken to be the Rutherford scattering law for projected angle scattering modified at small angles by electron shielding and at large angles by a nuclear form factor Fn(ϕϕ0) which gives the effect of the finite nuclear size. The calculations can be carried through for any reasonable choice of Fn and have been carried through for two suggested choices of Fn for the examples of fast μ-meson scattering in lead slabs of thickness 2 cm and 5 cm, with good agreement for the two methods of calculation. The results are compared with the theories of Molière and Olbert.


  • Received 30 September 1954
  • Published in the issue dated January 1955

© 1955 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Leon N. Cooper* and James Rainwater

  • Department of Physics, Columbia University, New York, New York

  • *Now at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.

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