The impact parameter is defined as the perpendicular distance between the path of a projectile and the center of the field created by an object that the projectile is approaching (see diagram). It is often referred to in Nuclear Physics (see Rutherford Scattering), as well as in Classical Mechanics.
The impact parameter is related to the scattering angle by
where is the velocity of the projectile when it is far from the center, and is its closest distance from the center.
|This physics-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|