39_rutherford - Lesson 39: Rutherford's Planetary Model...

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Lesson 39: Rutherford's Planetary Model Ernest Rutherford was curious about what alpha particles did when you shot them at various materials. Alpha particles are helium nuclei ( He 2+ or α 2+ ) released by some radioactive materials. When the alpha particles hit thin samples of materials, the alpha particles came out the other side at a bit of an angle. Rutherford looked at how these alpha particles came out the other side at various angles in order to eventually come up with his own model of the atom. In the classic Rutherford Scattering experiment, we set up a radioactive sample (such as radium ) inside a lead box with a small hole cut in one side. This hole allows a stream of alpha particles to exit the box and travel towards a thin sheet of gold. Gold is great to use because of its malleability. It can be hammered down to a sheet that is only a few atoms thick. .. you can even faintly see through it! Forming a loop on the other side was a screen coated in zinc sulphide. If an alpha particle got through the gold, it would cause a spot to glow on the zinc sulphide screen. By putting the screen in various positions, Rutherford was able to measure how often alpha
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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2011 for the course PHYSICS 235 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Rutgers.

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39_rutherford - Lesson 39: Rutherford's Planetary Model...

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