In 1911 Ernst Rutherford (1871-1937) carried out a series at experiments using a-particles. A beam of a-particles was directed against a thin foil of about 0.0004 cm thickness of gold, platinum, silver or copper. The following observations were made:
Following conclusion were drawn from the above observations.(a). Since most of the a-particles went straight through the metal foil undeflected, it means that there must be very large empty space with in the atom.
The positively charged heavy mass which occupies only a small volume in an atom is called nucleus. It is supposed to be present at the centre of the atom.(c). A very few of the a-particles suffered strong deflections or even returned on their path indicating that the nucleus is rigid and a-particles recoil due to direct collision with the heavy positively charged mass.
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