• In 1911, Rutherford and coworkers Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden initiated a series of groundbreaking experiments that would completely change the accepted model of the atom.
  • They bombarded very thin sheets of gold foil with fast moving alpha particles.
  • Rutherford found that a small percentage of alpha particles were deflected at large angles, which could be explained by an atom with a very small, dense, positively-charged nucleus at its center.
  • In the nuclear atom, the protons and neutrons, which comprise nearly all of the mass of the Atom, are located in the nucleus at the center.
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