The Gold Foil Experiment
Rutherford bombarded a very thin leaf of element gold with a stream of high speed positively charged particles. These positively charged particles are alpha radiation from helium nuclei.
As expected, most alpha particles went right through the gold foil but to his amazement, a few alpha particles rebounded almost directly backwards due to same positive charge repulsion force.
Click on the diagram to play!
This proved that:
- the atom had a dense but very small positive nucleus
- the electrons were far away from the nucleus
- the electrons were separated from the nucleus by a lot of empty space