Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment
-Focused a beam of positively charged particles (alpha particles) on a thin sheet of gold foil and set up a ring of detectors around the foil
*It was thought that the positively charged alpha particles would pass through atoms with very little deflection because the positive charges were thought to be spread out evenly.
Rutherford and his colleagues were shocked to see:
-A few alpha particles had very large deflections or bounced straight back towards the source
-They concluded that the alpha particles going straight through were passing through nearly empty space and that the particles bouncing back were hitting dense, positively charged centers.