The story of New Zealand scientist Ernest Rutherford, who revolutionised science by discovering the structure of the atom in 1908.
- In 1908, Ernest Rutherford conducted the gold leaf experiment - in which radiation was fired through a thin gold foil.
- The experiment recorded the intensity of scattered radiation.
- The results revealed that gold atoms were mostly empty space.
- A small amount of reflected radiation led Rutherford to determine the structure of the atom - a densely packed nucleus surrounded by orbiting electrons.
Ernest Rutherford was a New Zealand born scientist.
His career began with a scholarship to Cambridge University, which would lead him to make one of the most important scientific discoveries of the 20th century.
Prof Robert Marshall, University of Manchester – "Rutherford was very, very special. You can recognise this in …
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