• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Rutherford's Alpha Particle Scattering Experiment:The discovery of the Nucleus...

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Rutherford’s Alpha Particle Scattering Experiment:

The discovery of the Nucleus…

Rutherford was the world leader in alpha-particle physics. In 1906, at McGill, he had been the first to detect slight deflections of alphas on passage through matter. In 1907, he became a professor at the University of Manchester, where he worked with Hans Geiger. This was just a year after Rutherford's old boss, J. J. Thomson, had written a paper on his plum pudding atomic model suggesting that the number of electrons in an atom was about the same as the atomic number. (Not long before, people had speculated that atoms might contain thousands of electrons. They were assuming that the electrons contributed a good fraction of the atom's mass.)

Rutherford's alpha scattering

...read more.

Middle

        Most of the particles went straight through the foil without any deflection – however some of the particles (about 1 in 8000) were deflected by a degree of more than 90 degrees.

This meant that the idea of the “Plum pudding” model (suggested by J.J. Thompson in 1906) was in dispute – a model which Rutherford himself had been a believer in.

Rutherford pondered this problem for some months. He eventually decided there was simply no way it could generate the strength of electric field necessary to deflect the fast moving alphas.

The electric field from a sphere of charge reaches its maximum on the surface. Therefore, for a given charge, assumed spherically distributed, the only way to get a stronger field is to compress it into a smaller sphere.

...read more.

Conclusion

If an alpha goes through 400 layers of atoms, and in each layer it has a chance of one in ten thousand of getting close enough to the nucleus for a one-degree scatter, this is unlikely to happen twice. It follows that almost certainly only one scattering takes place. It then follows that all ninety or more degrees of scattering must be a single event, so the nucleus must be even smaller than one hundredth the radius of the atom - it must be less than 10-13 meters, as stated above.

image00.png

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Radioactivity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

Response to the question is done well and outlines the experiment and explains how the different theorys came about from the way the experiment went. To improve the candidate should have included more information on the plum pudding model and ...

Read full review

Response to the question

Response to the question is done well and outlines the experiment and explains how the different theorys came about from the way the experiment went. To improve the candidate should have included more information on the plum pudding model and perhaps a diagram so they could explain better how the theory behind that was disproved.

Level of analysis

No clear introduction is used which would be good to introduce the topic and the concepts of the experiment. The candidate goes into the history behind the experiment well outlining other theories of the time, and how the setup of the experiment worked and the conclusions that could be drawn from it. The sections should be split up a little more clearly so we can follow the experiment a bit better, such as with spaced lining between paragraphs or sub-headings. The diagram included also helps define the experiment well.

Quality of writing

Good grammar, punctuation and spelling throughout. Sources are not stated which should be done so that the right essays can be given credit, as if not it is plagiarism. The candidate should have used even a base referencing manner.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by skatealexia 31/07/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Radioactivity essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Ionisation smoke alarms use an ionisation chamber and a source of ionising radiation to ...

    3 star(s)

    The electron that was also created during the process, fly's away from the nucleus. Although the number of protons and neutrons (mass number) in an atom change, the mass number of the element always stays the same as you have lost a neutron but gained a proton.

  2. Nuclear Physics GCSE

    An atomic bomb results from an uncontrolled chain reaction. Turning nuclear fission into electrical energy: s Nuclear Fusion: * In nuclear fusion, when two atoms join together to form one heavier nucleus, energy is released. In the reactor hydrogen atoms come together to form helium atoms, a substantial amount of energy and neutrons.

  1. The primary objective of this experiment is to familiarize with the use of an ...

    The discs were mounted on a sample holder 3) They were then placed in the infrared spectrometer and the spectrum was recorded 4) The spectrum was examined 5) The scan was repeated if the spectrum is outside the calibration range or if there was any off-scale regions because the film prepared was too thick 6)

  2. Heating and cooling revision notes for science

    The remaining particles in the liquid have a lower average kinetic energy than before, so the liquid cools down as evaporation happens. This is why sweating cools you down. The sweat absorbs energy from your skin so that it can continue to evaporate.

  1. Smoke Alarms Assignment In this CDA I will be explaining how smoke alarms work, ...

    135/401 x 100= 33.6% % of gamma = 162/401 x 100= 40.4% Am 241 should be an alpha emitter We did this to find out if there was more than one type of radiation coming out of the smoke alarms.

  2. The aim of this study is to find out how harmful sunbeds are for ...

    Many people go to get a tan before they go on holiday as they believe that it protects their skin from serious sunburn. Other people get a tan because they want to look good in front of their friends as it's really fashionable; also they don't have to wait until the summer to get a good tan.

  1. Ernest Rutherford and the Atom article

    It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.? Rutherford?s Explanation about the Observations Rutherford inferred from the observations that there must be a positive charge in the atom due to the fact that

  2. The role of nuclear energy in the field of medicine

    So even though CT scans can help doctors to locate where the disease is they aren?t that reliable and can be harmful as well if they are not used properly. "Symptoms & Diagnosis." Symptoms & Diagnosis. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Aug.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work