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The results of the gold foil experiment allowed Rutherford to build a more accurate model of the atom, in which nearly all of the mass was concentrated in a tiny, dense nucleus. The nucleus was like a fly floating in a football stadium – remembering of course that the fly was much heavier than the stadium! Although Rutherford had received a Nobel Prize for his earlier work, his discovery of the atomic nucleus was probably his greatest achievement.Electrons orbited at some distance from the nucleus. A 26-year-old Niels Bohr, who was spending time as a research student in Rutherford’s laboratory in 1912, was intrigued by Rutherford’s model of the atom.He devised a method of dating rocks relating their age to the amount of helium present in them.Based on the fact that our planet is still volcanically active, Lord Kelvin had indicated Earth’s age could be no greater than 400 million years old.
I have to publish my present work as rapidly as possible in order to keep in the race.
Rutherford began the experiment because he was puzzled that fewer alpha particles than expected from a sample of radium were reaching a new detector in his laboratory.
The only medium the particles had to travel through was a small amount of air.
He discovered two different types of radiation, which he named alpha and beta.
By allowing radiation from uranium to pass through an increasing number of layers of metal foil, he discovered that: Rutherford coined the terms alpha, beta, and gamma for the three most common types of nuclear radiation. (Gamma radiation was discovered by Paul Villard in Paris, France in 1900.) Rutherford began his investigation of alpha and beta radiation in the same year that Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the new radioactive elements polonium and radium.