Rutherford expected all of the particles to be deflected just a bit as they passed through the plum pudding. He found that most of the ’s he shot at the foil were not deflected at all. They passed through the foil and emerged undisturbed. Occasionally, however, particles were scattered at huge angles. While most of the ’s were undisturbed, a few of them bounced back directly. Imagine if something like this happened at our mound of snow. We shoot bullets at the pile for days, and every round passes straight through, unperturbed – then a bullet hits the snow, reflects back, and splinters the gun’s stock! Rutherford’s result lead him to believe that most of the foil was made of empty space, but had extremely small, dense lumps of matter inside. No other model accounted for the occasional wide angle scattering of the . With this experiment, Rutherford discovered the nucleus.
Also, it motivated other scientists to study the atom more intricately.
Sue Youn Oh
Experiment Set Up
Setting of Experiment
Rutherford conducted his Gold Foil Experiment in 1911 at the University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom.
Ernest Rutherford was born at Spring Grove in Nelson, New Zealand on August 30, 1871, to James and Martha Rutherford.
Rutherford's gold experiment hypothesis?
Since nothing like his experiment had ever been done before, his hypothesis had to be theoretical.
This was the first time that this specific hypothesis was formulated.
Independent Variable- rate at which the alpha particles were shot out, and the location of the foil
Dependent Variable - number of electrons bounced back from the gold foil
This experiment did not have a control group.
In order to record the data, a zinc sulfide screen was placed behind the gold foil (though other foils were used as well) as a backdrop for the alpha (positive) particles to appear upon.