Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Sizes of atoms and nuclei

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What is the size not mass, of a silicon atoms nucleus compared to itís total size? Thanks
- Derek
Colby WI USA
A:
Rutherford first measured the sizes of nuclei by scattering alpha particles from a gold foil.  See for an explanation.  The size of a silicon nucleus is of the order of 0.117 nanometers. 

The sizes of atoms were first estimated with the use of Avogadro's number along with the atomic mass and bulk density of a solid material. 
The number for silicon is about 100 picometers: see

LeeH



(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.