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QUANTA TO QUARKS

1. RUTHERFORD MODEL OF THE ATOM AND ITS LIMITATIONS


1.1.

DISCUSS THE STRUCTURE OF THE RUTHERFORD MODEL OF THE ATOM, THE


EXISTENCE OF THE NUCLEUS AND ELECTRON ORBITS

RUTHERFORDS EXPERIMENT
Rutherfords experiment involved firing alpha particles, which are positively charged He 2+, at gold foil
and observing their deflections. From his experimental evidence, he concluded that the majority of an
atom was empty space, there was a dense positively charged nucleus, and has electrons orbiting
around the nucleus, like planets in a solar system.
EXPECTED COMPARED TO MEASURED RESULTS
Plum Pudding Model

Expected results was that all alpha particles


would pass through the atoms in the gold foil
A fluorescent screen used to detect the alpha
particles, would have seen a blurry spot due
to minor deflection

Rutherford Model

Measured results demonstrated that almost


all alpha particles passed through the atom
unaltered
The fluorescent screen showed an intense
spot due to no deflection occurring
However, deflection of alpha particles did
occur, and with extreme scattering

CONCLUSION
Observation

Conclusion

Intense focused
fluorescence

The atom was comprised of mostly empty space to allow for the
unaltered trajectory of alpha particles through the gold foil.

Extreme deflection of
some alpha particles

The atom must have contained a densely packed positively charged


nucleus to result in such extreme deflection of alpha particles.

RUTHERFORD MODEL OF THE ATOM

Features

Electrons orbited around the nucleus


The nucleus was dense and positively
charged
Comprised almost completely of empty
space

BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS OF THE RUTHERFORD MODEL


Benefits

Limitations

The Bohr model proved to be extremely


ground-breaking, as it is still being used in
some form
It provided a near accurate representation of
what the atom was, and allowed for other
scientists to add upon itself, such as Bohrs
proposal of quantised electrons

1.2.

Orbiting electrons should have emitted


electromagnetic radiation if they were being
accelerated, due to the centripetal force
provided by the nucleus
Did not explain how electrons could maintain
stable orbits, as they should have spiralled
inwards eventually

ANALYSE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HYDROGEN SPECTRUM IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF


BOHRS MODEL OF THE ATOM

BOHRS MODEL OF THE ATOM


DESCRIPTION
Bohrs model of the atom was similar to Rutherfords model with two major distinctions. Electrons had
assigned positions along their orbitals, and most importantly the quantisation of electron energy states.
From Bohrs model it proposed the electrons could move between energy states, thereby explaining the
process in which energy was absorbed or released by the atom.
DIAGRAM
Features
SIGNIFICANCE OF HYDROGEN SPECTRUM ON
BOHRS MODEL
When the hydrogen spectrum was first observed
and recorded, a major feature evident throughout
the spectrum was a series of discrete spectra lines
in the visible spectrum. Rydberg then
mathematically described those spectra lines, which
was determined by an integer value, meaning that
the electromagnetic radiation emissions from
hydrogen was quantised. Bohr then suspected that
the spectra lines were associated with electron
energies, and from Rydbergs quantisation of
emitted electromagnetic radiation, concluded that
electron energies were quantised.

Rutherford

Electrons orbited around the nucleus


The nucleus was dense and positively
charged
Comprised almost completely of empty
space

Bohr

Electrons orbited around the nucleus in


quantised energy states
Each energy state had a specified
number of electrons that could occupy it
1st = 2 electrons, other energy states had
8 electrons

RYDBERGS EQUATION

Wavelength of spectra lines is determined by a series of integers, which infers quantised amounts
1.3.

DEFINE BOHRS POSTUL ATES

Postulate
1

Electrons in an atom exist in stationary states of stability and emit no energy when in
those states.

Postulate

Energy is only lost or gained by an electron when it moves between states. When an

electron moves from a high energy state to a low energy state, its releases an photon
with energy equal to the energy difference between the states: E = h*f.

Postulate
3

Electron angular momentum in a stationary state is quantised.

1.4.

DISCUSS PLANCKS CONTRIBUTION TO THE CONCEPT OF QUANTISED ENERGY

Plancks initially developed the concept of quantised energy when working on black body radiation.
Through Plancks proposal of quantised energy, he instigated the implementation and development of
various models in physics that relied on quantisation, such as Bohrs model of the atom.
1.5.

DESCRIBE HOW BOHRS POSTUL ATES LED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF A


MATHEMATICAL MODEL TO ACCOUNT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE HYDROGEN
SPECTRUM

USE OF BOHRS POSTUL ATE TO MATHEMATICALLY ACCOUNT FOR THE HYDROGEN SPECTRUM
In Bohrs model of the atom, the stationary energy states were represented as integers in a series. The
frequency of light emitted from a transition from a high energy state to a low energy state, matched
Rydbergs mathematical description of spectra lines. From this Rydberg was able to then use Bohrs
model of the atom to derive his equation. Essentially Rydberg was able to derive the equation by
analysing the hydrogen spectrum, and later on used Bohrs postulates to derive again.
RYDBERGS EQUATION

1.6.

DISCUSS LIMITATIONS OF THE BOHR MODEL OF THE HYDROGEN ATOM

LIMITATIONS
Limitations

Didnt explain the relative intensity of spectral lines, and why some electron transitions were
preferred more than others
Closer examination of spectral lines illustrated that each line consisted of several smaller lines, in
which the Bohr model of the atom could not explain as it only predicted one clear line for each
transition
The Bohr model of the atom couldnt account for the spectral lines of larger atoms
Couldnt explain the Zeeman effect, which involves passing an intense magnetic field through the
discharge tube, causing hyperfine splitting of spectral lines

CONCLUSION

Although the Bohr model was unable to explain experimental evidence, it revolutionised the model of
the atom and quantum mechanics, allowing for future scientists such as Pauli and Heisenberg to
explain these phenomena.

2. THE LIMITATIONS OF CLASSICAL PHYSICS GAVE BIRTH TO QUANTUM PHYSICS


2.1.

DESCRIBE THE IMPACT OF DE BROGLIES PROPOSAL THAT ANY KIND OF PARTICLE HAS
BOTH WAVE AND PARTICLE PROPERTIES

DESCRIPTION OF DE BROGLIES PROPOSAL


Einstein initially proposed that light contained particles called photons, which were packets of energy as
waves. De Broglie then extended lights wave-particle duality to encompass all matter, including the
electrons in the Bohr model. This meant that all matter had a given wavelength, which can be
mathematically described.
QUANTITATIVE DESCRIPTION

IMPACT ON THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY


Impacts
Provided a physical interpretation of Bohrs model of the atom in regards to its stationary energy
states
Provided a new way of describing the nature of matter, through wave-particle duality
Laid the basis for Schrodingers theories in quantum mechanics
2.2.

EXPL AIN THE STABILITY OF THE ELECTRON ORBITS IN BOHRS ATOM USING DE
BROGLIES HYPOTHESIS

IMPACT ON BOHRS MODEL OF THE ATOM


De Broglies proposal that all matter had a wavelength, including electrons, was able to explain
stationary energy states. He determined that electrons existed in stationary energy states, since these
were the distances from the nucleus of the atom where standing waves of electrons could form due to
constructive interference. Other distances would result in destructive interference and unstable orbits,
thus explaining why there were discrete energy levels.

MATHEMATICAL DESCRIPTION

Circumference of orbit must be an integer of the wavelength of an electron for constructive


interference and thus standing waves
2.3.

DEFINE DIFFRACTION AND IDENTIFY THAT INTERFERENCE OCCURS BETWEEN WAVES


THAT HAVE BEEN DIFFRACTED

DESCRIPTION AND ILLUSTRATION OF DIFFRACTION


Diffraction is the bending of waves around obstacles or spreading out of waves through openings.
Bending around objects

Diffusing through an opening

INTERFERENCE BETWEEN DIFFRACTED WAVES


Constructive and destructive interference occurs when diffracted waves superpose each other which
can produce patterns.

Illustration of the double slit experiment which illustrates interference occurring between diffracted
waves to produce a pattern
2.4.

DESCRIBE THE CONFIRMATION OF DE BROGLIES PROPOSAL BY DAVISSON AND


GERMER

DESCRIPTION
Davisson and Germer fired slow moving electrons at a nickel crystal, and measured the different angles
of reflection that occurred. They observed a diffraction pattern that corresponded to those predicted by
Bragg if X-rays were fired at the nickel crystal instead of electrons, thus confirming de Broglies
hypothesis of wave-particle duality.
DIFFRACTION PATTERNS FROM ELECTRONS AND X-RAYS
Electron Pattern

X-ray Pattern