Describe Rutherford's gold foil experiment. How did the experiment show that the plum-pudding model of the atom was wrong?

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asked May 11, 2012 in General Chemistry by Gummmys ~Expert~ (1,105 points)
edited May 11, 2012 by Gummmys

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In the experiment Rutherford directed a positively charged alpha particle at a ultra-thin sheet of gold fold.  Surprisingly, almost all the particles passed directly through the foil, while others got deflected, or even bounce backwards.  This experiment led Rutherford to conclude that the mass and the positive charge of an atom must all be conentrated in a space that is smaller than the atom itself.  Unlike the plum-pudding model, which suggested the atom was a huge sphere with tiny electrons on its surface.  According to Rutherford, the atom must contain large regions of empty space dotted with small regions of dense matter.
answered May 11, 2012 by yoshi ~Expert~ (919 points)
selected May 11, 2012 by Gummmys