MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

439 views

How do we know about the structure of the atom?

Scientists originally thought that atoms were like a 'plum pudding' in that they were a sphere of positive charge with negatively charged electrons scattered about inside it. This was because they observed from experiment that the atom was neutral and also that it contained electrons. Therefore the negatively charged electrons must be cancelled out by a positive charge.

However, a scientist named Rutherford proved this model wrong by firing positively charged particles named alpha particles at some atoms in gold foil. Most of the alpha particles went straight through the foil but some were deflected back the way they had come. 

This lead to our current model of the atom where most of it is empty space, allowing most of the particles to pass straight through. The nucleus is a positively charged collection of protons and neutrons (which have no charge) and so repels the positively charged alpha particles. The electrons surround this nucleus in rings. 

Katherine R. GCSE Physics tutor

1 year ago

Answered by Katherine, a GCSE Physics tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

144 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£18 /hr

Joseph B.

Degree: Accounting and Finance (Bachelors) - LSE University

Subjects offered:Physics, Maths+ 1 more

Physics
Maths
-Personal Statements-

“Previously I have found that all pupils learn differently, so need to be taught differently, thus, tailoring my lessons to suit individuals.”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Jonathan P.

Degree: Physics (Masters) - Durham University

Subjects offered:Physics, Maths

Physics
Maths

“About Me: I am a Physics student at Durham University. My passion is physics, and by association maths, I will aim to instil asimilar passion in students during my tutorials. I am a highly patient and approachable individual.  I have...”

£22 /hr

Pooja D.

Degree: Medicine (Bachelors) - Birmingham University

Subjects offered:Physics, Science+ 6 more

Physics
Science
Maths
Chemistry
Biology
.UKCAT.
-Personal Statements-
-Medical School Preparation-

“I have tutored for the past 4 years and have gathered many ways of teaching concepts to students in a way that is easily-digestible and understandable. ”

About the author

Katherine R.

Currently unavailable: for regular students

Degree: Physics (Bachelors) - Durham University

Subjects offered:Physics

Physics

“I am a Natural Sciences student at Durham University who specialises in Physics so I love talking about all things to do with science! I hope in my tutorial you will enjoy talking with me about everything from stars and galaxies to th...”

You may also like...

Posts by Katherine

How do I work out the efficiency of a process from a Sankey diagram?

How do we know about the structure of the atom?

What is nuclear fusion?

Other GCSE Physics questions

What is constant acceleration?

What is the plum pudding model?

What is nuclear fusion?

What was the Rutherford gold foil experiment

View GCSE Physics tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok