Ernest Rutherford

The Gold Foil Experiment

The Gold Foil Experiment

This experiment was performed at the University of Manchester in 1909 to prove the structure of an atom. Rutherford shot alpha particles at a sheet of gold and some deflected. He thought that the particles would move in a straight line, but instead some bounced back which proved that something must have gotten in the way of the particles, which disproved his hypothesis.
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Discoveries of the Atom

One thing that Rutherford discovered through this experiment was the Nuclear Theory. This theory shows how an atom is mostly empty space with a small positively charged nucleus. Since the nucleus is positively charged and so were the atoms he shot at it, they rebelled each other and bounced back proving that the nucleus is positive.