Could you explain me the Rutherford alpha particle scattering experiment?

1 Answer
Jul 1, 2018

Rutherford was testing the Thomson theory of the atom sometimes called the fruitcake theory


The theory current at Rutherford's time was the fruitcake theory ( not only because it was crazy but because the model of the atom looked like a fruit cake) This theory postulated that the positive and negative charges of an atom were randomly scattered throughout the atom. Rutherford decided to test this theory using alpha particles like an X ray machine.

Rutherford's hypothesis was that some of the alpha particles would be deflected slightly forming an x ray type picture of the inside of the atom. Rutherford's initial hypothesis based on Thompson theory was totally wrong.

Instead of some alpha particles being deflect slightly most pasted untouched through the atom . Shocking Rutherford some of the alpha particles were reflected directly back. Instead of the atom being a soft random system of protons and electron the atom had a super hard nucleus surrounded by essentially empty space.

Rutherford's experiment disproved Thompson's theory of the atom. Instead Rutherford's experiment gave rise to a totally different theory of the atom. The theory that the protons and mass of the atom was located in a nucleus surrounded by electrons with little mass.