Thursday, 21 June 2012

How Ernie Rough discovered the structure of the atom.

During an A level physics mock test, the following was asked.

"Describe how Rutherford discovered the structure of the atom".

This was my answer.

Early 20th century celebrity scientist Ernest Rutherford, or Ernie Rough as his friends called him, wasn't happy with the plum pudding model of atoms that existed at the time. 
So Roughnuts, in a move that was completely ground breaking, decided to fire some alpha particles (also know as Helium nuclei) at a sheet of gold. Gold of course being his favourite colour.
What Ernie observed was that although some of the alpha particles were being deflected straight back as the plum pudding model would suggest, a lot of them passed straight through the gold and some were being deflected at strange angles.
From this the Roughernator determined that most of an atom was empty space and that all the all the important bits were packed together in the middle. And that is why the Ruffian is still considered to be a top notch scientist.

I should point out that although there is a lot of nonsense in there, the science is correct and I got the marks for it.

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