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# Rutherford’s alpha particle scattering experiment established that

Last updated date: 17th Mar 2023
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Hint: Alpha particles, also known as alpha rays or alpha radiation, are made up of two protons and two neutrons that are bound together to form a helium-$4$ nucleus-like particle. They're most commonly made during alpha decay, but they can also be made in other ways.

Rutherford carried out an experiment in which he bombarded a thin sheet of gold with -particles and then observed the motion of the particles after they collided with the gold foil. Rutherford used a thin sheet of gold ($100$ nm thickness) to direct high-energy streams of -particles from a radioactive source. He wrapped a fluorescent zinc sulphide screen around the thin gold foil to analyse the deflection caused by the -particles. Certain findings made by Rutherford contradicted Thomson's atomic model.
Just a few -particles were deflected out, implying that only a few -particles had approximately $180^\circ$ deflection angles. As a result, the positively charged particles in an atom occupy a very small amount in comparison to the overall volume of the atom.