here is an excerpt i found on the web. Ernest Rutherford, born on New Zealand, showed in 1911 that alpha particles were sometimes very strongly scattered by the positive charges of the atom, in a way that could only be explained if such charges were concentrated in a very small volume, practically a point in space. He therefore suggested that every atom had a compact nucleus, with negative electrons floating around it. Rutherford's picture suggested that the nucleus was like a miniature Sun, with electrons orbiting it like planets. If Newton's laws were valid on the atomic scale, that might indeed be so, but as later research showed, on the atomic distance scale Newton's laws change into other forms. By these new laws of "quantum mechanics," electrons do not move in precisely defined orbits, but are distributed in space in a way that only allows the probability of finding them anywhere to be calculated. Similarly, energized atoms are only allowed to exist in one of a number of energy levels Source(s): http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/L… [Broken] ----------- Ok, so basically all of science resides on this dudes theory that atoms MAY have a compact nucleus and at the time of 1911, we had NO WAY to see if it was true? How do we know that his theory is true? are there actual real images of atoms containing a nucleus? Or is it still just a theory and maybe we are all wrong! thanks I just need to know because to me science is soo random that it drives me nuts. It does not explain the whole picture to me. its like a piece of sand judging the whole world based off of where its at. All it sees is other pieces of sand, while there are oceans, trees and animals.