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Rutherford and the atom (1 of 4)

Image caption:
Ernest Rutherford used alpha particles (helium atoms stripped of their electrons) to learn about the structure of the atom.

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Image credit:
If you use this image in your own non-commercial project please credit it to the University of California Museum of Paleontology's Understanding Science (http://www.understandingscience.org).

This image is part of a series:

Rutherford and the atom (2 of 4)
By firing alpha particles through gold foil, Rutherford was able to test ideas about the interior of the atom.

Rutherford and the atom (3 of 4)
Most of the alpha particles passed through the gold foil without changing direction much as expected, but some came bouncing back in the opposite direction.

Rutherford and the atom (4 of 4)
Rutherford published a description of his idea, which was later modified by Niels Bohr.


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