Rutherford's Alpha Scattering Experiment

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  • Created on: 29-12-11 17:38

Models of the atom

(http://physicsnet.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/element-notation.gif)  

A: Nucleon number (Mass number)

Z: Atomic number (Proton number, also number of electrons in a neutral atom)

Rutherford's Alpha Scattering Experiment

Rutherford was also helped by two of his students, Geiger and Marsden.

Set-up

(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRwAyzzNCOl79M1T20O7DhDZuRvt4Eol1EzVgldl6pIHQyXELUd)

R: When the original experiments were being completed, particle accelerators weren't available so Rutherford required a natural probe. He used Radon gas which emits alpha particles. Since it emits radiation equally in all directions, the beam was collimated to ensure accuracy of measurements.

F: Gold foil was used as a target. It was ideal for the experiment since it can be rolled out to be just a few atoms thick. This was important since alpha radiation can be absorbed by a piece of paper.

M:

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