Episode 539: Deep Inelastic Scattering
In this learning episode, from the Institute of Physics, students use an analogue experiment to illustrate electron scattering by quarks. In the model, magnets are concealed in a box. Their poles represent ‘charges’ which are probed using a freely-suspended magnet. This helps to demonstrate that each of the scattered 'charges' will affect the trajectory of the target ‘charge’ on the suspended magnet in a more complex way than a single charge would.
Students should appreciate that the necessarily complex analysis of particle paths from deep electron scattering indicates that the neutron and proton are not simple point charges but contain a simpler structure within them.