On deviations from theory of electron-atom elastic scattering cross sections

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In some recent studies it is claimed that the electron elastic scattering intensities at keV energies from atoms and molecules at high momentum transfers do not conform to the Rutherford relation. Huge reductions in the ratios of the electron scattering intensities were reported in the following binary gas mixtures: H 2/D 2, H 2/He, H 2/Ar, D 2/Ar and He/Ar where the scattering intensities from the light partners were found to be lower than the heavier ones by ∼30% and higher. Of particular interest is the case of the H 2/D 2 isotopic mixture found to deviate from the Rutherford relation by 30%. Similar intensity reductions were reported in samples of solid polymers where the scattering intensity from H was compared to that of C; the strong anomalous H-scattering intensity reduction was attributed to short lived quantum entanglement of a proton pair in the solid sample. It was stated that a quantum mechanical treatment of this scattering process in the framework of the Born approximation could not yield an explanation for the above observation. Here a critical examination of the above reports is given with the conclusion that the origin of all above deviations is very likely instrumental and not due to any real deviation from the Rutherford formula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
StatePublished - 15 May 2012


  • Ar
  • CH
  • D
  • D O
  • Electron elastic scattering
  • H
  • H O
  • HD
  • He
  • Quantum entanglement
  • Rutherford scattering


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