Chronology of Milestone Events in Particle Physics - DAVISSON 1927B
Chronology of Milestone Events in Particle Physics

  Nobel Prize to C. J. Davisson awarded in 1937 and to co-winner G. P. Thomson "for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals''  


Davisson, C.J.; Germer, L.H.;
Diffraction of Electrons by a Crystal of Nickel
Phys. Rev. 30 (1927) 705;

Reprinted in
The Physical Review - the First Hundred Years, AIP Press (1995) 48.

The intensity of scattering of a homogeneous beam of electrons of adjustable speed incident upon a single crystal of nickel has been measured as a function of direction. The crystal is cut parallel to a set of its {111}--planes and bombardment is at normal incidence. The distribution in latitude and azimuth has been determined for such scattered electrons as have lost little or none of their incident energy.
Electron beams resulting from diffraction by a nickel crystal.
-Electrons of the above class are scattered in all directions at all speeds of bombardment, but at and near critical speeds sets of three or of six sharply defined beams of electrons issue from the crystal in its principal azimuths. Thirty such sets of beams have been observed for bombarding potentials below 370 volts. Six of these sets are due to scattering by adsorbed gas; they are not found when the crystal is thoroughly degassed. Of the twenty-four sets due to scattering by the gas-free crystal, twenty are associated with twenty sets of Laue beams that would issue from the crystal within the range of observation if the incident beam were a beam of heterogeneous x rays, three that occur near grazing are accounted for as diffraction beams due to scattering from a single {111}--layer of nickel atoms, and one set of low intensity has not been accounted for. Missing beams number eight. These are beams whose occurrence is required by the correlations mentioned above, but which have not been found. The intensities expected for these beams are all low.
The spacing factor concerned in electron diffraction by a nickel crystal.
-The electron beams associated with Laue beams do not coincide with these beams in position, but occur as if the crystal were contracted normally to its surface. The spacing factor describing this contraction varies from 0.7 for electrons of lowest speed to 0.9 for electrons whose speed corresponds to a potential difference of 370 volts.
Equivalent wave-lengths of the electron beams may be calculated from the diffraction data in the usual way. These turn out to be in acceptable agreement with the values of h/mv of the undulatory mechanics.
Diffraction beams due to adsorbed gas are observed except when the crystal has been thoroughly cleaned by heating. Six sets of beams of this class have been found; three of these appear only when the crystal is heavily coated with gas; the other three only when the amount of adsorbed gas is slight. The structure of the gas film giving rise to the latter beams has been deduced.

Accelerator ELECTRON-GUN Detectors CNTR

Related references
More (earlier) information appears in
C. J. Davisson and L. H. Germer, Nature 119 (1927) 558;
W. Elsasser, Naturw. 13 (1921) 711;
C. J. Davisson and Kunsman, Phys. Rev. 22 (1923) 242;
C. J. Davisson and Kunsman, Science 64 (1921) 522;

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Record comments
Discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals. Confirmation of the wave properties of moving electrons.
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