In this chapter we shall study nuclear sizes and shapes. In principle, this information may be obtained from scattering experiments (e. g., scattering of protons or α particles) and when Rutherford discovered that nuclei have a radial extent of less than 10−14 m, he employed a scattering. In practice, however, there are difficulties in extracting detailed information from such experiments. Firstly, these projectiles are themselves extended objects. Therefore, the cross-section reflects not only the structure of the target, but also that of the projectile. Secondly, the nuclear forces between the projectile and the target are complex and not well understood.
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