So I just read that when alpha particle hit the gold foil sparks were created. And these flashes were used to determine the angle of scattering. So were the sparks created because the alpha particles (positive) excited the electrons in the gold foil? And is a spark just that? Light emitted due to Excitation of electrons and them coming back to a lower energy ( de-excitation)?
Also were any electron even excited out of the gold foil?