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Distance of closest approach

Distance of closest approach

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Subject Science
Grade Level Grades 6-12
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About This Lesson

This animation shows the distance of closest approach between an alpha particle and a gold nucleus. The greater the energy of the alpha the closer to the nucleus it will reach before its velocity is reduced to
zero and it is repelled.

The distance of closest approach (d) for an alpha particle of energy E is given by the formula :

Press to begin the animation and then followed by to fire another alpha particle of different energy at the nucleus.

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