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Atomic Nucleus

Key Stage 4


A diagram of an atom showing the nucleus.

The nucleus is the centre of an atom containing protons and neutrons.

About the Nucleus

The nucleus was discovered by Rutherford in his alpha scattering experiment.
The nucleus has a diameter of around 1.75x10-15m (1.75 femtometres) to 15x10-15m (15 femtometres) while the atom ranges in size from a diameter of around 1x10-10m (0.1 nanometres) to 5x10-10m (0.5 nanometres). This means the nucleus is 100,000 times smaller than the atom.