Home » Physics » Particle Physics » Thomsons Plum Pudding model

Thomsons Plum Pudding model

Having done a reasonable job of the Rutherford Scattering apparatus, I now want to see how plausible the Thomson version is. It’s worth pointing out that when Thomson suggested this model he knew it was wrong – but perhaps it was better to start with something rather than nothing?
I have some thinner sheet that I decided to use for this because the attempt to put dimples in it was fraught with difficulty. So I decided to replace the dimples with holes. So any alpha particle going into the hole would capture the electron…represented by the hole…not really sure that helps. Anyway, one thing at a time.

I took the thin plastic and marked the extremities of the atom and added in some electrons. It’s supposed to be gold but it’ll have to pretend to be gold with just five electrons. I used the hammer and the pipe to punch the holes through, it didn’t work that well.

It’s starting to remind me of a hockey mask….
But the holes were done, so now I had to try and get the larger curve into the plastic which I would be heating with the hot air gun.

It didn’t work very well putting the plate, which was the former, underneath and hoping the plastic would sag into it. It was better with the plastic over the top of the plate and it sagging down around it. The trouble was I got the annoying creases again. If I use thicker plastic I don’t get the creases but it’ll be harder to punch holes in. Next I think I need to roll some marbles down a ramp and see how these two models behave.



  1. That looks pretty cool as a model and so does the Rutherford scattering model.


  2. gdw100 says:

    But would you use it in your teaching?


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May 2013
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