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CHEMISTRY YEAR 09 Class activity sheet-03 (Rutherford Gold Foil Experiment)

Lesson objectives:
By the end of this lesson, about 70% of the learners should be able to:

State observations made from Rutherford Gold foil experiment for the discovery of the nucleus

Draw conclusions from observations made in Rutherford gold foil experiment

Sketch a diagram for Rutherford gold foil experiment.

Recap of previous lesson:

What can you recall about the last lesson?
Prompt for prior knowledge:
What do you known about Rutherford gold foil experiment?

Rutherford Gold foil (alpha scattering) experiment

To confirm Thomsons plum pudding model of the atom, Rutherford fired alpha particles (helium
nuclei) at a thin gold foil. Alpha particles are positively charged. Rutherford expected all the alpha
particles to pass through undeflected if plum pudding model was correct.
Activity 01:
(a) (i) What push Rutherford to carry out the gold foil experiment?

(ii) Rutherford used alpha particles. What are alpha particles?

(iii) What Rutherfords expectation in his gold foil experiment?

(b) The diagram below is a picture of Rutherford gold foil experiment.


Using known gained by watching the video and the above diagram, what
three observations were made by Rutherford?

Conclusions from Rutherford gold foil experiment
Conclusions drawn by Rutherford experiment from the above observations.
1 An atom is mostly made up of large empty space
2 The centre of an atom called the nucleus is very small.
3 The nucleus is massive
4 The nucleus is positively charged.
Activity 02:
(a) What prompted Rutherford to come up with conclusion 3?

(b) What prompted Rutherford to come up with conclusion 4?


What did you learn you learn today?

1. What two names are used to describe Rutherfords experiment on the investigation of
atomic structure?.

2. What observation from Rutherford conclude that:
(a) Most of the atom was an empty space

(b) The nucleus was small

(c) The nucleus was positively charged.

3. What prompted Rutherford to carry out his experiment?

4. What did Rutherford expect as the results of his gold foil experiment?

5. What is another name for an alpha particle?

[Total = 8mks]