Day 79: Rutherford Scattering in VPython

In AP Physics C, students wrapped up the topic of collisions by writing a VPython program to simulate the scattering of an alpha particle (red) as it travels close to a gold nucleus (yellow). Also graphed are the momenta of the alpha particle, gold nucleus, and total momenta (green) in both the x- and y-direction. Note total momentum is always conserved (and, in this case, always zero in the y-direction).

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About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

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