Probing the Nucleus

  • David Cassidy
  • Gerald Holton
  • James Rutherford
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Contemporary Physics book series (UTCP)


We saw in Chapter 14 that studies of the atom indicated that the atom consists of a very small, positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. Experiments on the scattering of a particles revealed that the nucleus has dimensions of the order of 10-14 m. Since the diameter of an atom is of the order of 10-10 m, the nucleus takes up only a minute fraction of the volume of an atom. The nucleus, however, contains nearly all of the mass of the atom, as was also shown by the scattering experiments.


Radioactive Element Atomic Number Periodic Table Atomic Mass Helium Atom 


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Some Further Readings

  1. E. Curie, Madame Curie: A Biography, V. Sheean, transi. ( New York: Da Capo Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  2. G. Holton and S.G. Brush, Physics, The Human Adventure ( Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2001 ), Chapter 27.Google Scholar
  3. S. Quinn, Marie Curie: A Life ( New York: Perseus Press, 1996 ).Google Scholar
  4. T Trenn, The Self-Splitting Atom: The History of the Rutherford—Soddy Collaboration ( London: Taylor and Francis, 1977 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Cassidy
    • 1
  • Gerald Holton
    • 2
  • James Rutherford
    • 3
  1. 1.Natural Science ProgramHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA
  2. 2.358 Jefferson Physical LaboratoryHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.American Association for Advancement of ScienceUSA

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