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science project
Updated: 2/26/2019
science project
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Storyboard Text

  • This is Ernest Rutherford and here is his atomic theory
  • I think that the atom could be mostly empty space, with little things orbiting a tiny positively charged core. I'm going to do an experiment to figure out if I am right.
  • He shot a beam of alpha particles into gold foil. The alpha particles were shot through a machine called an a-particle emitter. Alpha particles (alpha rays) are positively charged helium nuclei and Rutherford thought that they would serve as a good probe of the atomic structure of matter. He thought the beams would hit the gold and some would reflect off of the gold and others would go straight through. He figured his theory would be proven if he could show that the particles made it all the way through. Those that didn't make it through would hit the nucleus. This was because inside the nucleus there are protons (positively charged) and when positive and positive hit energy each other they bounce right off, similar to a magnet for example. The positive side and positive side of a magnet push away from each other when close and visa versa, same thing in this situation. This experiment proved Rutherford's theory and made a big impact on what the Atom is perceived to be today.
  • Photograph of him (Famous people. (n.d.). Ernest Rutherford Biography [Photograph]. Retrieved from
  • Rutherford was the first person to describe the existence of a small, charged atomic nucleus. His representation of the atom is still accepted today as what them atom looks like after over a century of other people doing experiments on it and finding new things. If it were not for Rutherford it might have taken much longer to figure out what the nucleus was, and after finding out what it was it enabled more research to be done about the atom. This finding also partially enabled the creation of the atomic bomb, because without this knowledge it would have taken a lot longer too figure out how to spilt the atom because they still didn't know about the core of the atom.
  • Ernest was the fourth child born in a family of 14, he was born and raised in in Clearwater, New Zealand. His mother worked as a school teacher and the father worked as a Scottish wheelright. Photo of him as a child (Ernest Rutherford [Photograph]. (n.d.). Retrieved from wp-content/uploads/1999/11/er_05_youngboy.jpg)
  • He won the nobel prize award in chemistry in 1908, for his work "disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances" (,( n.a.).
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