Explain the Rutherford’s alpha particles scattering experiment in detail.
Rutherford’s Scattering Experiment
In 1911, Earnest Rutherford, a scientist from New Zealand, overturned Thomson’s atomic model by his gold foil experiment.
- Rutherford selected a gold foil as he wanted a very thin layer.
- The gold foil used by Rutherford was 0.004 millimetres in thickness. That is, the foil was about 1000 atoms thick.
- In his experiment, fast moving α-particles (alpha particles) were made to fall on a thin gold foil.
- The α-particles are helium ions with a +2 charge. Their atomic mass is 4 u. Hence, a high velocity beam of α-particles has a lot of energy.
- These particles were studied by means of flashes of light they produced on striking a zinc sulphide screen.
- The α-particles are much heavier than the sub-atomic particles present in gold atoms.
- Hence, he expected the α-particles to pass through the gold foil with little deflection and strike the fluorescent screen.
Answered by Expert 30th March 2016, 7:51 PM
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