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.

photoelectric effect

We looked at the photoelectric effect this week.  I’ve been looking for some video demonstrations but there are very few explanations that I would be happy to recommend.  The animation I used in class is available here.  I also found a nice demonstration on youtube (see below) that uses a different type of electroscope to indicate the presence of charge.

This video is also attached as a podcast.

Higher summary notes

Someone sent me a link to a great set of summary notes for the entire Higher Physics course.  They are from Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh and I’d like to thank them Physics dept there for making them available.  Use the download link or save it by getting the podcast episode in iTunes.