I read the book "Enrico Fermi The Revolutions of Modern
Physics" and they compared Alpha particles being shot at a thin sheet of
metal and bouncing back to firing a rifle at a piece of tissue paper and
it bouncing back at you. Is this comparison legitimate?
Everything that Enrico Fermi wrote, spoke or did was extraordinary this
comparison is also unique. Alpha particles which were emitted from a nucleus
have a considerable energy, any that are recoiled back to the source of the
particles display that there is an interation between the nucleus of the
metal film and the alpha particles. These experiments were done in the
1930's, I believe, what we might take for granted today was frontier
knowledge 70 years ago.
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Update: June 2012