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Which is the most suitable option here?
When alpha particles are used to bombard gold foil, most of the alpha particles pass through undeflected. This result indicates that most of the volume of a gold atom consists of _____.

This question is part of Chemistry Regents Prep #1
Asked by Esthomas, Last updated: Nov 19, 2020

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2 Answers

Ken Wilson

Ken Wilson

Want to learn new things and share my knowledge

Ken Wilson
Ken Wilson, Marketing Analyst, MBA, Miami

Answered Jan 17, 2019

This is Rutherford’s experiment where he wanted to prove the existence of a nucleus in an atom. Ernest Rutherford along with his students Ernest Marsden and Hans Geiger bombarded alpha particles into a very thin gold foil and had an observation that 1/8000 of the particles deflated at a large angle.

They observed it under a microscope on a screen of zinc sulfide in the dark. It was then they confirmed that strong electric fields exist. He then concluded that a positive-charged atom lies in a compact and solid nucleus. This nucleus concentrates almost the whole mass of the atom but occupies only hundred millionth of a millionth of the atom’s volume.

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John Smith

John Smith

John Smith
John Smith

Answered Jun 20, 2017

Unoccupied space

Because most of the particles do not hit anything and pass right through the gold foil, one can infer that the atom is mostly just empty space.
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