posted by Mike on .
In Rutherford's famous scattering experiments that led to the planetary model of the atom, alpha particles (having charges of +2e and masses of 6.64 10-27 kg) were fired toward a gold nucleus with charge +79e. An alpha particle, initially very far from the gold nucleus, is fired at 1.6 107 m/s directly toward the nucleus, as in the figure below. How close does the alpha particle get to the gold nucleus before turning around? Assume the gold nucleus remains stationary.