The Rutherford (Nuclear) Atom

The model of the nuclear atom was developed by observing how rapidly moving alpha particles were deflected by atoms placed in their paths. In the famous Rutherford experiment, the deflection of these positively-charged alpha particles was shown to be inconsistent with the older plum-pudding atomic model, and lead to the acceptance of an atomic model in which the positive charge was located in a densely packed nucleus. The student will observe through simulation that alpha particles are deflected by nuclei placed in their paths. The degree of deflection is dependent upon the number of protons in the nucleus, and independent of the number of neutrons in the nucleus. For comparison, the older plum-pudding nuclear model is provided, so the student can observe the path alpha particles were expected to take through atoms in which positive and negative atomic charges were evenly disbursed.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3001.5.3
Evaluate an argument, considering false premises, logical fallacies, and the quality of evidence presented.
CLE 3231.6.1
Investigate the properties and structure of the atom.
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Lesson Variations

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