Rutherford Scattering – PHET Scattering

Rutherford Scattering – PHET Scattering


  • Atomic Nuclei
  • Atomic Structure
  • Quantum Mechanics


How did Rutherford figure out the structure of the atom without being able to see it? Simulate the famous experiment in which he disproved the Plum Pudding model of the atom by observing alpha particles bouncing off atoms and determining that they must have a small core.

Sample Learning Goals

  • Describe the qualitative difference between scattering off positively charged nucleus and electrically neutral plum pudding atom.
  • For charged nucleus, describe qualitatively how angle of deflection depends on: Energy of incoming particle, Impact parameter, Charge of target


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