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How did Rutherford know?

  1. Apr 25, 2009 #1
    How did Rutherford know??

    How did Rutherford know that the Zinc Sulfide screen was indeed hit by alpha particles?

    The screen did fluoresce, but it could be because it was hit by electrons scattered from the gold foil, or maybe gold atoms... which would lead to conclusions different from the ones which were made (atom is mostly space bla bla...)

    Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Re: How did Rutherford know??

    Easy: Does the screen fluoresce without the gold foil?

    Of course, Rutherford knew that already before he set up the experiment.
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