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    I understand how Rutherford's gold foil experiment proved that a positive nucleus existed, but I don't get why prior to this discovery they expected all of the alpha particles to pass straight through. The plum pudding model said there was electrons in a sea of positive charge, so wouldn't they expect all alpha particles to be repelled backwards as like charges repel and the alpha particles were positively charged??? Why would they expect them to pass through if they didn't know the atom was mostly empty space??? Thanks for any help!
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    (Original post by mayjb)
    I understand how Rutherford's gold foil experiment proved that a positive nucleus existed, but I don't get why prior to this discovery they expected all of the alpha particles to pass straight through. The plum pudding model said there was electrons in a sea of positive charge, so wouldn't they expect all alpha particles to be repelled backwards as like charges repel and the alpha particles were positively charged??? Why would they expect them to pass through if they didn't know the atom was mostly empty space??? Thanks for any help!
    I thought that the fact that they passed through was unexpected? Or maybe Rutherford's theory was something about empty space, and this proved it? I'm not really sure, sorry.

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    I believe it is the fact that only some were repelled showed that most of the atom is empty space.
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    (Original post by Science_Girl)
    I thought that the fact that they passed through was unexpected? Or maybe Rutherford's theory was something about empty space, and this proved it? I'm not really sure, sorry.

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    thanks for the help anyway
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    (Original post by Bobjim12)
    I believe it is the fact that only some were repelled showed that most of the atom is empty space.
    ok thanks!
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    If the plum pudding model was correct, then the charge would be evenly spread, so no reflection would occur. When some of the alpha particles bounced back, Rutherford described it as 'it was as shocking as if you fired a 15 inch naval shell at tissue paper and it bounced back'.
 
 
 
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