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Thomson and Rutherford's experiments

  1. Apr 5, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    If Thomson's "plum pudding" model was correct, what could have happened when Rutherford fired high energy alpha particles at gold foil?

    Select all that are True.
    Alpha particles are reflected.
    Alpha particles pass right through with no deflection.
    Alpha particles experience small deflections.
    Alpha particles experience large deflections.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I understand Thomson had discovered that atoms are composite objects, made of pieces with positive and negative charge, and that the negatively charged electrons within the atom were very small compared to the entire atom. Also, how Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment proved the existance of a small massive center to atoms, which would later be known as the nucleus of an atom.

    Wouldn't this mean Alpha particles would pass right through with no deflection since a nucleus hasn't been established yet?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2015 #2


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    Gold Member

    I believe the right answer is
    Alpha particles pass right through with no deflection.
  4. Apr 6, 2015 #3
    That is what I tried and it was wrong :(
  5. Apr 7, 2015 #4


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    Homework Helper

    The positive nuclei have the largest mass and would then be evenly distributed throughout the "pudding".
    How would such a distribution influence the deflection?
    The large deflection observed in the real experiment came about as a result of the nuclei being bound together in one large concentrated mass.
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