What would change in the gold foil experiment if it was beta not alpha particles ? Would the negatively charged particles be attracted to the positive nucleus?

Asked by Topperlearning User | 4th Jun, 2014, 01:23: PM

Expert Answer:

The big difference really wouldn't be the charge. The scattering of a negative particle really doesn't look that much different from the scattering of a positive particle. The big difference would be the mass. Alpha particles are much, much bigger and hence tend to carry much, much more energy than electrons. So while the alpha particle shrugs off the electrons in the gold foil, the electron is more likely to get scattered by them. The experiment wouldn't be nearly as clean.

Answered by  | 4th Jun, 2014, 03:23: PM