Students’ e-course Rutherford – Ernest’s nuclear atom

Introduction

Welcome to this e-course about Rutherford and the nuclear atom.

In this e-course lesson:

  • You will enjoy a story about Rutherford and his investigation about nuclear atom.
  • You will learn how the idea of the nuclear atom was born.
  • You will gain an understanding of how scientists gather information using indirect evidence. 
  • You will realize that science is advanced through research, whereas obstacles to research stop its progress. Science and technology are human activities and as such are affected by social and cultural circumstances

 

 
 

 

 

 

This e-lesson has six activities that require approximately 90 minutes to complete. In the beginning of each activity you will read what you are going to learn and the time required to complete it. However, if you feel interested in the topic presented here you will find initial resources to further your studies. All activities have enough space to write in if you print them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Activity: Getting to know Rutherford and the nuclear atom

When you finish this activity you will have learned the story about Rutherford and his investigation about nuclear atom.

time required:  15’

You will watch a video with a narration about the work of Rutherford and his investigation about nuclear atom.

 

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2nd Activity: The characters in the story about Rutherford and the nuclear atom

This activity will help you to locate the characters within the story of Rutherford and the nuclear atom and also to attribute them with a characteristic you find appropriate.

 

time required:  15΄

Write down the names of the characters involved and find an adjective that you think is suitable for each character of the story.

Names of characters

Adjective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      

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3rd Activity: The structure of the story

This activity will help you summarise the story of  Rutherford and the nuclear atom.

time required:  15’

Try to write the answers to the following activities. You may go back to the video or the text of the story [links] whenever you need it. Note with a sentence the beginning (1), the middle (2), and the end (3) of the story.

 
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1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

 

 

**Which is the turning point in this story?

 

 

4th Activity: The nature of science

This activity will help you think that “While science cannot “prove” its knowledge, its conclusions are still accepted and durable.” and that “Science requires and relies on empirical evidence”. These are essential ideas about the Nature of Science.

time required:  15’

Explain why Rutherford’s experiments entailed indirect evidence.

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Based on the dialogues between Rutherford and Geiger what can you conclude about the evolution of science?images

 

 

5th Activity: The science behind  the Rutherford’s research on the nuclear atom

This activity will help you better understand the story of  Rutherford and the nuclear atom.

time required:  15’

Please go to the electronic address http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHaR2rsFNhg  and watch the presentation of Rutherford’s experiment. Please make a simple sketch of Rutherford’s experiment.  

Please draw here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the conclusions  of Rutherford’s experiment?

Conclusions   :____________________________________________________

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6th Activity: The science behind  the Rutherford’s research on the nuclear atom

This activity will help you better understand the story of  Rutherford and the nuclear atom.

time required:  15’

Please visit the website http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/rutherford-scattering and download the relevant application. Run it and study it carefully (activate it if necessary). Find the controls with which you can choose between Rutherford’s atom and the ‘Plum Pudding Atom’. Make visible the orbit (show traces) and amend the energy of the alpha particles. You should also learn how to recognize the symbols for protons, electrons, neutrons and alpha particles. Run the experiment for both models of the atom.

 

 

 

 

 

Compare the differences between the results of the two different models. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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