Rutherford's Model

by NicholasKoh
Last updated 8 years ago


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Rutherford's Model

Rutherfords Model

Ernest Rutherford was responsible for a few important discoveries in the area of radioactivity and nuclear physics. He discovered alpha and beta rays,and suggested the laws of radioactive decay.

Rutherford carried out experiments which proved that when alpha particles are fired into gas atoms, a few are violently deflected, which meant a dense, positively charged central region containing most of the atomic mass. This was later identified this as the protons in the nucleus of the atom

Rutherford's Experiments

Rutherford's "Planetary model of the atom" suggested that an atom has a dense and positively charged nucleus in the centre with negatively charged electrons 'orbiting' around it. Most of the atom would be empty space.

Another of his experiments involved bombarding 'alpha particles' into a sheet of gold foil. Some of the particles passed through, while the rest bounced off the gold foil. This indicated the presence of both solid matter and empty space in the gold foil which further confirmed his theory.

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Rutherford's Theory


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