Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

August 1986


Published in Phys. Rev. A 34, 911 - 923 (1986) [Issue 2 – August 1986]. ©1986 The American Physical Society. Used by permission.


In order to understand some of the systematic effects associated with conventional Mottscattering electron polarization measurements, we analyzed asymmetry data obtained with 94-keV polarized electrons scattered at 120° from gold-foil targets ranging in thickness from 27 to 62 μg/cm2. Based upon an examination of the influence of multiple and plural scattering, we conclude that the precision of such Mott measurements is fundamentally limited by an experimental uncertainty of greater than ±2.5% and an absolute uncertainty of approximately ±5%, considerably worse than is customarily assumed. We believe that similar conclusions can be drawn for measurements made with “compact” cylindrical and spherical Mott polarimeters.

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