Problem: You may want to reference (Pages 46 - 49) Section 2.2 while completing this problem.What fraction of the α particles in Rutherford's gold foil experiment are scattered at large angles? Assume the gold foil is two layers thick, as shown in the figure, and that the approximate diameters of a gold atom and its nucleus are 2.2 Å and 1.0 × 10− 4 Å, respectively. Hint: Calculate the cross-sectional area occupied by the nucleus as a fraction of that occupied by the atom. Assume that the gold nuclei in each layer are offset from each other.

FREE Expert Solution

f = 𝛔nt


View Complete Written Solution
Problem Details

You may want to reference (Pages 46 - 49) Section 2.2 while completing this problem.

During an experiment, a beam of particles from a source of alpha particles is passed through an opening in a circular fluorescent screen. The beam strikes a piece of gold foil in the center of the circular screen and is split. Most of the alpha particles undergo little to no scattering because most of the atom is empty, and so the beams strike the screen at small angles behind the gold foil. The interpretation is that as incoming particles pass through the foil, they pass in a straight line because most will miss the tiny nucleus and pass through the large areas of empty space of the atom. A tiny fraction of the alpha particles are scattered at large angles because their path takes them very close to an extremely small but highly charged nucleus. These beams strike the screen at large angles from the foil. The interpretation is that an incoming alpha particle is only bent at a large angle when it strikes a tiny nucleus.

What fraction of the α particles in Rutherford's gold foil experiment are scattered at large angles? Assume the gold foil is two layers thick, as shown in the figure, and that the approximate diameters of a gold atom and its nucleus are 2.2 Å and 1.0 × 10− 4 Å, respectively. Hint: Calculate the cross-sectional area occupied by the nucleus as a fraction of that occupied by the atom. Assume that the gold nuclei in each layer are offset from each other.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Gold Foil Experiment concept. You can view video lessons to learn Gold Foil Experiment. Or if you need more Gold Foil Experiment practice, you can also practice Gold Foil Experiment practice problems.