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What is the significance of positive particles coming off of thorium in Rutherford's experiment? Did it interact with the gold atoms differently than other particles would have?

Rebounding alpha particles imply that there is a concentrated mass with positive charge in the center of gold atoms, or for that matter any kind of atoms. You need positive charge to repel positively charged alpha particles, and mass is required so that alpha particles rebound without significant affect on this mass. Other particles would have behaved in the same way if they were positively charged and were of less massive than the alpha particles. For a larger mass, the nucleus will itself start recoiling - nucleus is the term used for the central mass.


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