Rutherford’s scattering of alpha particles


In the last part of the Higher course, we looked at the structure of the atom. Rutherford scattering of alpha particles fired at a very thin sheet of gold foil provided the evidence to develop our understanding of the atom from a “plum pudding” model to a “nuclear” atom – where most of the matter and mass are concentrated in the centre, or nucleus, of the atom.

There is a really good youtube video about Rutherford & alpha particle scattering –  watch the first 5 minutes only, it goes on to another topic after that. You can also follow the link below (the download link at end of post) to watch an animation of the alpha particle scattering experiment and follow how the results changed our view of the atom.

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