Definition of Rutherford scattering in English:

Rutherford scattering


  • Elastic scattering of a charged particle (especially an alpha particle) by the electric field of an atomic nucleus; = "Coulomb scattering".

    Rutherford investigated such scattering by firing a beam of alpha particles at an extremely thin layer of gold and observing their deflection. The unexpected backscattering of some of these particles led him to devise his model of the atom.


1920s; earliest use found in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.