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Since the beginning of time, human beings have sought to understand what the

universe and everything within it is made up of. And while ancient magi and
philosophers conceived of a world composed of four or five elements earth, air, water,
fire (and metal, or consciousness) by classical antiquity, philosophers began to
theorize that all matter was actually made up of tiny, invisible, and indivisible atoms.
Since that time, scientists have engaged in a process of ongoing discovery with the
atom, hoping to discover its true nature and makeup. By the 20th century, our
understanding became refined to the point that we were able to construct an accurate
model of it. And within the past decade, our understanding has advanced even further,
to the point that we have come to confirm the existence of almost all of its theorized
parts.
Today, atomic research is focused on studying the structure and the function of matter
at the subatomic level. This not only consists of identifying all the subatomic particles
that are thought to make up an atom, but investigating the forces that govern them.
These include strong nuclear forces, weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism and
gravity. Here is a breakdown of all that weve come to learn about the atom so far

Structure Of The Atom:


Our current model of the atom can be broken down into three constituents parts
protons, neutron, and electrons. Each of these parts has an associated charge, with
protons carrying a positive charge, electrons having a negative charge, and neutrons
possessing no net charge. In accordance with the Standard Model of particle physics,
protons and neutrons make up the nucleus of the atom, while electrons orbit it in a
cloud.

Neils Bohrs model a nitrogen atom. Credit: britannica.com


The electrons in an atom are attracted to the protons in the nucleus by the
electromagnetic force. Electrons can escape from their orbit, but only in response to an
external source of energy being applied. The closer orbit of the electron to the nucleus,
the greater the attractive force; hence, the stronger the external force needed to cause
an electron to escape.
Electrons orbit the nucleus in multiple orbits, each of which corresponds to a particular
energy level of the electron. The electron can change its state to a higher energy level
by absorbing a photon with sufficient energy to boost it into the new quantum state.
Likewise, an electron in a higher energy state can drop to a lower energy state while
radiating the excess energy as a photon.
Atoms are electrically neutral if they have an equal number of protons and electrons.
Atoms that have either a deficit or a surplus of electrons are called ions. Electrons that
are farthest from the nucleus may be transferred to other nearby atoms or shared
between atoms. By this mechanism, atoms are able to bond into molecules and other
types of chemical compounds.

All three of these subatomic particles are Fermions, a class of particle associated with
matter that is either elementary (electrons) or composite (protons and neutrons) in
nature. This means that electrons have no known internal structure, whereas protons
and neutrons are made up of other subatomic particles. called quarks. There are two
types of quarks in atoms, which have a fractional electric charge.

The Standard Model elementary particles. Credit: PBS NOVA/Fermilab/Particle Data


Group
Protons are composed of two up quarks (each with a charge of +2/3) and one down
quark (-1/3), while neutrons consist of one up quark and two down quarks. This
distinction accounts for the difference in charge between the two particles, which works
out to a charge of +1 and 0 respectively, while electrons have a charge of -1.
Other subatomic particles include Leptons, which combine with Fermions to form the
building blocks of matter. There are six leptons in the present atomic model: the
electron, muon, and tau particles, and their associated neutrinos. The different varieties
of the Lepton particles, commonly called flavors, are differentiated by their sizes and
charges, which effects the level of their electromagnetic interactions.

Then, there are Gauge Bosons, which are known as force carriers since they mediate
physical forces. For instance, gluons are responsible for the strong nuclear force that
holds quarks together while W and Z bosons (still hypothetical) are believed to be
responsible for the weak nuclear force behind electromagnetism. Photons are the
elementary particle that makes up light, while the Higgs Boson is responsible for giving
the W and Z bosons their mass.

Atomic Mass:
The majority of an atoms mass comes from the protons and neutrons that make up its
nucleus. Electrons are the least massive of an atoms constituent particles, with a mass
of 9.11 x 10-31 kg and a size too small to be measured by current techniques. Protons
have a mass that is 1,836 times that of the electron, at 1.672610-27 kg, while neutrons
are the most massive of the three, at 1.692910-27 kg (1,839 times the mass of the
electron).

The masses of all 6 flavors of quarks, with a proton and electron (red dot) shown at the
bottom left for scale. Credit: Wikipedia/Incnis Mrsi
The total number of protons and neutrons in an atoms nucleus (called nucleons) is
called the mass number. For example, the element Carbon-12 is so-named because it
has a mass number of 12 derived from its 12 nucleons (six protons and six neutrons).
However, elements are also arranged based on their atomic numbers, which is the
same as the number of protons found in the nucleus. In this case, Carbon has an
atomic number of 6.
The actual mass of an atom at rest is very difficult to measure, as even the most
massive of atoms are too light to express in conventional units. As such, scientists often
use the unified atomic mass unit (u) also called dalton (Da) which is defined as a
twelfth of the mass of a free neutral atom of carbon-12, which is approximately 1.661027

kg.

Chemists also use moles, a unit defined as one mole of any element always having the
same number of atoms (about 6.0221023). This number was chosen so that if an
element has an atomic mass of 1 u, a mole of atoms of that element has a mass close
to one gram. Because of the definition of the unified atomic mass unit, each carbon-12
atom has an atomic mass of exactly 12 u, and so a mole of carbon-12 atoms weighs
exactly 0.012 kg.

Radioactive Decay:
Any two atoms that have the same number of protons belong to the same chemical
element. But atoms with an equal number of protons can have a different number of
neutrons, which are defined as being different isotopes of the same element. These
isotopes are often unstable, and all those with an atomic number greater than 82 are
known to be radioactive.

Diagram of alpha and beta decay in two Uranium isotopes. Credit: energy-withoutcarbon.org
When an element undergoes decay, its nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation
which can consist of alpha particles (helium atoms), beta particles (positrons), gamma
rays (high-frequency electromagnetic energy) and conversion electrons. The rate at
which an unstable element decays is known as its half-life, which is the amount of time
required for the element to fall to half its initial value.
The stability of an isotope is affected by the ratio of protons to neutrons. Of the 339
different types of elements that occur naturally on Earth, 254 (about 75%) have been
labelled as stable isotopes i.e. not subject to decay. An additional 34 radioactive
elements have half-lives longer than 80 million years, and have also been in existence
since the early Solar System (hence why they are called primordial elements).

Finally, an additional 51 short-lived elements are known to occur naturally, as daughter


elements (i.e. nuclear by-products) of the decay of other elements (such as radium
from uranium). In addition, short-lived radioactive elements can be the result of natural
energetic processes on Earth, such as cosmic ray bombardment (for example, carbon14, which occurs in our atmosphere).

History of Study:
The earliest known examples of atomic theory come from ancient Greece and India,
where philosophers such as Democritus postulated that all matter was composed of
tiny, indivisible and indestructible units. The term atom was coined in ancient Greece
and gave rise to the school of thought known as atomism. However, this theory was
more of a philosophical concept than a scientific one.

Various atoms and molecules as depicted in John Daltons A New System of Chemical
Philosophy (1808). Credit: Public Domain
It was not until the 19th century that the theory of atoms became articulated as a
scientific matter, with the first evidence-based experiments being conducted. For
example, in the early 1800s, English scientist John Dalton used the concept of the atom
to explain why chemical elements reacted in certain observable and predictable ways.
Dalton began with the question of why elements reacted in ratios of small whole
numbers, and concluded that these reactions occurred in whole number multiples of
discrete unitsin other words, atoms. Through a series of experiments involving gases,
Dalton went on to developed what is known as Daltons Atomic Theory, which remains
one of the cornerstones of modern physics and chemistry.
The theory comes down to five premises: elements, in their purest state, consist of
particles called atoms; atoms of a specific element are all the same, down to the very
last atom; atoms of different elements can be told apart by their atomic weights; atoms
of elements unite to form chemical compounds; atoms can neither be created or
destroyed in chemical reaction, only the grouping ever changes.
By the late 19th century, scientists began to theorize that the atom was made up of
more than one fundamental unit. However, most scientists ventured that this unit would
be the size of the smallest known atom hydrogen. And then in 1897, through a series
of experiments using cathode rays, physicist J.J. Thompson announced that he had
discovered a unit that was 1000 times smaller and 1800 times lighter than a hydrogen
atom.

The Plum Pudding model of the atom proposed by John Dalton. Credit: britannica.com
His experiments also showed that they were identical to particles given off by the
photoelectric effect and by radioactive materials. Subsequent experiments revealed that
this particle carried electric current through metal wires and negative electric charges
within atoms. Hence why the particle which was originally named a corpuscle was
later changed to electron, after the particle George Johnstone Stoneys predicted in
1874.
However, Thomson also postulated that electrons were distributed throughout the atom,
which was a uniform sea of positive charge. This became known as the plum pudding
model, which would later be proven wrong. This took place in 1909, when physicists
Hans Gieger and Ernest Marsden (under the direction of Ernest Rutherfod) conducted
their experiment using metal foil and alpha particles.
Consistent with Daltons atomic model, they believed that the alpha particles would pass
straight through the foil with little deflection. However, many of the particles were
deflected at angles greater than 90. To explain this, Rutherford proposed that the
positive charge of the atom is concentrated in a tiny nucleus at the center.
In 1913, physicist Niels Bohr proposed a model where electrons orbited the nucleus, but
could only do so in a finite set of orbits. He also proposed that electrons could jump
between orbits, but only in discrete changes of energy corresponding to the absorption
or radiation of a photon. This not only refined Rutherfords proposed model, but also

gave rise to the concept of a quantized atom, where matter behaved in discreet
packets.

The gold foil experiment conducted by Geiger, Marsden, and Rutherford. Credit:
glogster.com
The development of the mass spectrometer which uses a magnet to bend the
trajectory of a beam of ions allowed the mass of atoms to be measured with increased
accuracy. Chemist Francis William Aston used this instrument to show that isotopes had
different masses. This in turn was followed up by physicist James Chadwick, who in
1932 proposed the neutron as a way of explaining the existence of isotopes.
Throughout the early 20th century, the quantum nature of atoms was developed further.
In 1922, German physicists Otto Stern and Walther Gerlach conducted an experiment
where a beam of silver atoms was directed through a magnetic field, which was
intended to split the beam between the direction of the atoms angular momentum (or
spin).
Known as the SternGerlach Experiment, the results was that the beam split in two
parts, depending on whether or not the spin of the atoms was oriented up or down. In
1926, physicist Erwin Schrodinger used the idea of particles behaving like waves to
develop a mathematical model that described electrons as three-dimensional
waveforms rather than mere particles.

A consequence of using waveforms to describe particles is that it is mathematically


impossible to obtain precise values for both the position and momentum of a particle at
any given time. That same year, Werner Heisenberg formulated this problem and called
it the uncertainty principle. According to Heisenberg, for a given accurate
measurement of position, one can only obtain a range of probable values for
momentum, and vice versa.

Nuclear fission, where an atom of Uranium 92 is split by a free neutron to produce


barium and krypton. Credit: physics.stackexchange.com
In the 1930s, physicists discovered nuclear fission, thanks to the experiments of Otto
Hahn, Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch. Hahns experiments involved directing neutrons
onto uranium atoms in the hopes of creating a transuranium element. Instead, the
process turned his sample of uranium-92 (Ur92) into two new elements barium (B56) and
krypton (Kr27).
Meitner and Frisch verified the experiment and attributed it to the uranium atoms
splitting to form two element with the same total atomic weight, a process which also
released a considerable amount of energy by breaking the atomic bonds. In the years
that followed, research into the possible weaponization of this process began (i.e.
nuclear weapons) and led to the construction of the first atomic bombs in the US by
1945.

In the 1950s, the development of improved particle accelerators and particle detectors
allowed scientists to study the impacts of atoms moving at high energies. From this, the
Standard Model of particle physics was developed, which has so far successfully
explained the properties of the nucleus, the existence of theorized subatomic particles,
and the forces that govern their interactions.

Modern Experiments:
Since the latter half of the 20th century, many new and exciting discoveries have been
with regards to atomic theory and quantum mechanics. For example, in 2012, the long
search for the Higgs Boson led to a breakthrough where researchers working at
the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland announced its
discovery.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research
(CERN). Credit: home.cern
In recent decades, a great deal of time and energy has been dedicated by physicists to
the development of a unified field theory (aka. Grand Unifying Theory or Theory of
Everything). In essence, since the Standard Model was first proposed, scientists have

sought to understand how the four fundamental forces of the universe (gravity, strong
and weak nuclear forces, and electromagnetism) work together.
Whereas gravity can be understood using Einsteins theories of relativity, and nuclear
forces and electromagnetism can be understood usingquantum theory, neither theory
can account for all four forces working together. Attempts to resolve this have led to a
number of proposed theories over the years, ranging from String Theory to Loop
Quantum Gravity. To date, none of these theories have led to a breakthrough.
Our understanding of the atom has come a long way, from classical models that saw it
as an inert solid that interacted with other atoms mechanically, to modern theories
where atoms are composed of energetic particles that behave unpredictably. While it
has taken several thousand years, our knowledge of the fundamental structure of all
matter has advanced considerably.
And yet, there remain many mysteries that are yet to be resolved. With time and
continued efforts, we may finally unlock the last remaining secrets of the atom. Then
again, it could very well be that any new discoveries we make will only give rise to more
questions and they could be even more confounding than the ones that came before!
We have written many articles about the atom for Universe Today. Heres an article
about John Daltons atomic model, Neils Bohrs atomic model, Who Was Democritus?,
and How Many Atoms Are There In The Universe?
If youd like more info on the atom, check out NASAs Article on Analyzing Tiny Samples,
and heres a link to NASAs Article about Atoms, Elements, and Isotopes.
Weve also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast all about the Atom. Listen
here, Episode 164: Inside the Atom, Episode 263: Radioactive Decay, and Episode 394:
The Standard Model, Bosons.
toms are the basic units of matter and the defining structure of elements. Atoms are
made up of three particles: protons, neutrons and electrons.
Protons and neutrons are heavier than electrons and reside in the center of the atom,
which is called the nucleus. Electrons are extremely lightweight and exist in a cloud
orbiting the nucleus. The electron cloud has a radius 10,000 times greater than the
nucleus.

Protons and neutrons have approximately the same mass. However, one proton weighs
more than 1,800 electrons. Atoms always have an equal number of protons and
electrons, and the number of protons and neutrons is usually the same as well. Adding
a proton to an atom makes a new element, while adding a neutron makes an isotope, or
heavier version, of that atom.
Nucleus

The nucleus was discovered in 1911, but its parts were not identified until 1932. Virtually
all the mass of the atom resides in the nucleus. The nucleus is held together by the
"strong force," one of the four basic forces in nature. This force between the protons and
neutrons overcomes the repulsive electrical force that would, according to the rules of
electricity, push the protons apart otherwise.
Protons

Protons are positively charged particles found within atomic nuclei. They were
discovered by Ernest Rutherford in experiments conducted between 1911 and 1919.
The number of protons in an atom defines what element it is. For
example, carbon atoms have six protons, hydrogen atoms have one
andoxygen atoms have eight. The number of protons in an atom is referred to as the
atomic number of that element. The number of protons in an atom also determines the
chemical behavior of the element. The Periodic Table of the Elements arranges
elements in order of increasing atomic number.
Protons are made of other particles called quarks. There are three quarks in each
proton two "up" quarks and one "down" quark and they are held together by other
particles called gluons.
Electrons

Electrons have a negative charge and are electrically attracted to the positively charged
protons. Electrons surround the atomic nucleus in pathways called orbitals. The inner
orbitals surrounding the atom are spherical but the outer orbitals are much more
complicated.
An atom's electron configuration is the orbital description of the locations of the
electrons in an unexcited atom. Using the electron configuration and principles of

physics, chemists can predict an atom's properties, such as stability, boiling point and
conductivity.
Typically, only the outermost electron shells matter in chemistry. The inner electron shell
notation is often truncated by replacing the long-hand orbital description with the symbol
for a noble gas in brackets. This method of notation vastly simplifies the description for
large molecules.
For example, the electron configuration for beryllium (Be) is 1s22s2, but it's is written
[He]2s2. [He] is equivalent to all the electron orbitals in ahelium atom. The Letters, s, p,
d, and f designate the shape of the orbitals and the superscript gives the number of
electrons in that orbital.
Neutrons

Neutrons are uncharged particles found within atomic nuclei. A neutron's mass is slightly
larger than that of a proton. Like protons, neutrons are also made of quarks one "up"
quark and two "down" quarks. Neutrons were discovered by James Chadwick in 1932.
Isotopes

The number of neutrons in a nucleus determines the isotope of that element. For
example, hydrogen has three known isotopes: protium, deuterium and tritium. Protium,
symbolized as 1H, is just ordinary hydrogen; it has one proton and one electron and no
neutrons. Deuterium (D or 2H) has one proton, one electron and one neutron. Tritium (T
or 3H) has one proton, one electron and two neutrons.

Democritus
Democritus was born in Abdera, Greece in 460BC. He lived to be 90 years old,
dying in the year 370BC. He studied natural philosophy in Thrace, Athens, and
Abdera, Greece. He enjoyed studying geometry as well. Democritus traveled to
many places some of which including India, Egypt, and Babylon. Democritus was
never married.

His mentor, Leucippus, originally came up with the atomic


theory, but it was then adopted by Democritus. The atomic
theory stated that The universe is composed of two
elements: the atoms and the void in which they exist and
move. According to Democritus atoms were miniscule quantities of matter.
Democritus hypothesized that atoms cannot be destroyed, differ in size, shape
and temperature, are always moving, and are invisible. He believed that there
are an infinite number of atoms. This hypothesis was created in 465BC.

This is Democritus' atomic theory exactly:


1.All matter consists of invisible particles called atoms.
2. Atoms are indestructible.
3. Atoms are solid but invisible.
4. Atoms are homogenous.
5. Atoms differ in size, shape, mass, position, and arrangement.
->Solids are made of small, pointy atoms.
->Liquids are made of large, round atoms.
->Oils are made of very fine, small atoms that can easily slip past
each other.

This was Democritus atomic model. It was simply a round sphere


with no electrons, protons, or neutrons. Democritus created the first
atomic model. His contribution helped people with understanding
the idea of an atom, and helped other scientists further look into
the science of the atom and its generic makeup.
Quick Facts!

He published over 70 books.

Born to a family of wealth.

Very close with his father.

He studied pythagoreanism for a brief part of his life.

Enjoyed traveling; visited many places.

Atomic Theory:

However, Democritus greatest contribution to modern science was arguably the atomic
theory he elucidated. According to Democritus atomic theory, the universe and all
matter obey the following principles:

Everything is composed of atoms, which are physically, but not geometrically,


indivisible

Between atoms, there lies empty space

Atoms are indestructible

Atoms have always been, and always will be, in motion

There are an infinite number of atoms, and kinds of atoms, which differ in shape,
and size.

He was not alone in proposing atomic theory, as both his mentor Leucippus and
Epicurus are believed to have proposed the earliest views on the shapes and
connectivity of atoms. Like Democritus, they believed that the solidity of a material
corresponded to the shape of the atoms involved i.e. iron atoms are hard, water
atoms are smooth and slippery, fire atoms are light and sharp, and air atoms are light
and whirling.

Democritus model of an atom was one of an inert solid that interacted mechanically
with other atoms. Credit: .science.edu.sg
However, Democritus is credited with illustrating and popularizing the concept, and for
his descriptions of atoms which survived classical antiquity to influence later
philosophers. Using analogies from our sense experiences, Democritus gave a picture
or an image of an atom that distinguished them from each other by their shape, size,
and the arrangement of their parts.
In essence, this model was one of an inert solid that excluded other bodies from its
volume, and which interacted with other atoms mechanically. As such, his model
included physical links (i.e. hooks and eyes, balls and sockets) that explained how
connections occurred between them. While this bears little resemblance to modern
atomic theory (where atoms are not inert and interact electromagnetically), it is more
closely aligned with that of modern science than any other theory of antiquity.
While there is no clear explanation as to how scholars of classical antiquity came to
theorize the existence of atoms, the concept proved to be influential, being picked up by
Roman philosopher Lucretius in the 1st century CE and again during the Scientific

Revolution. In addition to being indispensable to modern molecular and atomic theory, it


also provided an explanation as to why the concept of a void was necessary in nature.
If all matter was composed of tiny, indivisible atoms, then there must also be a great
deal of open space between them. This reasoning has also gone on to inform out
notions of cosmology and astronomy, where Einsteins theory of special relativity was
able to do away with the concept of a luminiferous aether in explaining the behavior of
light.

Early atomic theory stated that different materials had differently shaped atoms. Credit:
github.com
Diogenes Laertius summarized Democritus atomic theory as follows inLives and
Opinions of Eminent Philosophers:

That atoms and the vacuum were the beginning of the universe; and that
everything else existed only in opinion. That the worlds were infinite, created,
and perishable. But that nothing was created out of nothing, and that nothing
was destroyed so as to become nothing. That the atoms were infinite both in
magnitude and number, and were borne about through the universe in endless
revolutions. And that thus they produced all the combinations that exist; fire,
water, air, and earth; for that all these things are only combinations of certain
atoms; which combinations are incapable of being affected by external
circumstances, and are unchangeable by reason of their solidity.

Death and Legacy:


Democritus died at the age of ninety, which would place his death at around 370 BCE;
though some writers disagree, with some claiming he lived to 104 or even 109.
According to Marcus Aurelius book Meditations, Democritus was eaten by lice or
vermin, although in the same passage he writes that other lice killed Socrates,
implying that this was meant metaphorically. Since Socrates died at the hands of the
Athenian government who condemned him, it is possible that Aurelius attributed
Democritus death to human folly or politics.
While Democritus was highly esteemed amongst his contemporaries, there were also
those who resented him. This included Plato who, according to some accounts, disliked
him so much that he wished that all his books would be burned. However, Platos pupil
Aristotle was familiar with the works of Democritus and mentioned him in
both Metaphysics and Physics, where he described him as a physicist who did not
concern himself with the ideals of form or essence.

Democritus meditating on the seat of the soul, by Lon-Alexandre Delhomme (1868).


Credit: Pubic Domain
Ultimately, Democritus is credited as being one of the founders of the modern science
because his methods and theories closely resemble those of modern astronomers and
physicists. And while his version of the atomic model differs greatly from our modern
conceptions, his work was of undoubted value, and was a step in an ongoing process
that included such scientists as John Dalton, Neils Bohr and even Albert Einstein.
As always, science is an process of continuing discovery, where new breakthroughs are
built upon the foundations of the old and every generations attempts to see a little
farther by standing on the shoulders of those who came before.

We have many interesting articles about atomic theory here at Universe Today. Heres
one about John Daltons atomic model, Neils Bohrs atomic model, the Plum Pudding
atomic model.
For more information, check out The History of the Atom Democritus.
Astronomy Cast has a wonderful episode on the subject, titled Episode 392: The
Standard Model Intro

tomic hypothesis[edit]
See also: Atomism
The theory of Democritus held that everything is composed of "atoms", which are physically, but not
geometrically, indivisible; that between atoms, there lies empty space; that atoms are indestructible,
and have always been and always will be in motion; that there is an infinite number of atoms and of
kinds of atoms, which differ in shape and size. Of the mass of atoms, Democritus said, "The more
any indivisible exceeds, the heavier it is". But his exact position on atomic weight is disputed. [4]
Leucippus is widely credited with having been the first to develop the theory of atomism,
although Isaac Newton preferred to credit the obscure Mochus the Phoenician (whom he believed to
be the biblical Moses) as the inventor of the idea on the authority of Posidonius and Strabo.
[31]

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes, "This theologically motivated view does not seem

to claim much historical evidence, however".[32]


Democritus, along with Leucippus and Epicurus, proposed the earliest views on the shapes and
connectivity of atoms. They reasoned that the solidness of the material corresponded to the shape of
the atoms involved. Thus, iron atoms are solid and strong with hooks that lock them into a solid;
water atoms are smooth and slippery; salt atoms, because of their taste, are sharp and pointed; and
air atoms are light and whirling, pervading all other materials.[33] Using analogies from humans' sense
experiences, he gave a picture or an image of an atom that distinguished them from each other by
their shape, their size, and the arrangement of their parts. Moreover, connections were explained by
material links in which single atoms were supplied with attachments: some with hooks and eyes
others with balls and sockets.[34] The Democritean atom is an inert solid (merely excluding other
bodies from its volume) that interacts with other atoms mechanically. In contrast, modern, quantummechanical atoms interact via electric and magnetic force fields and are far from inert.
The theory of the atomists appears to be more nearly aligned with that of modern science than any
other theory of antiquity. However, the similarity with modern concepts of science can be confusing

when trying to understand where the hypothesis came from. It is obvious that classical atomists
would never have had a solid empirical basis for modern concepts of atoms and molecules.
However, Lucretius, describing atomism in his De rerum natura, gives very clear and compelling
empirical arguments for the original atomist theory. He observes that any material is subject to
irreversible decay. Through time, even hard rocks are slowly worn down by drops of water. Things
have the tendency to get mixed up: Mix water with soil and mud will result, seldom disintegrating by
itself. Wood decays. However, there are mechanisms in nature and technology to recreate "pure"
materials like water, air, and metals.[citation needed] The seed of an oak will grow out into an oak tree, made
of similar wood as historical oak trees, the wood of which has already decayed. The conclusion is
that many properties of materials must derive from something inside, that will itself never decay,
something that stores for eternity the same inherent, indivisible properties. The basic question is:
Why has everything in the world not yet decayed, and how can exactly some of the same materials,
plants, and animals be recreated again and again? One obvious solution to explain how indivisible
properties can be conveyed in a way not easily visible to human senses, is to hypothesize the
existence of "atoms". These classical "atoms" are nearer to humans' modern concept of "molecule"
than to the atoms of modern science. The other central point of classical atomism is that there must
be considerable open space between these "atoms": the void. Lucretius gives reasonable
arguments[citation needed] that the void is absolutely necessary to explain how gasses and liquids can flow
and change shape, while metals can be molded without their basic material properties changing.

Rutherford atomic model, also called nuclear atom or planetary model of


the atom, description of the structure of atoms proposed (1911) by the New
Zealand-born physicist Ernest Rutherford. The model described the atom as a
tiny, dense, positively charged core called a nucleus, in which nearly all the
mass is concentrated, around which the light, negative constituents,
called electrons, circulate at some distance, much like planets revolving
around the Sun.
The nucleus was postulated as small and dense to account for
the scattering of alpha particlesfrom thin gold foil, as observed in a series of
experiments performed by undergraduate Ernest Marsden under the direction
of Rutherford and German physicist Hans Geiger in 1909. Aradioactive source
capable of emitting alpha particles (i.e., positively charged particles, identical
to the nucleus of the helium atom and 7,000 times more massive than
electrons) was enclosed within a protective lead shield. The radiation was
focused into a narrow beam after passing through a slit in a lead screen. A
thin section of gold foil was placed in front of the slit, and a screen coated

with zinc s
to render
it fluorescent s
as a counter
detect
particles.
each
particle
the

ulfide
erved
to
alpha
As
alpha
struck

fluorescent
screen,
it would
produce a burst of light called a
scintillation,
which was visible through a viewing
microscope
attached to the back of the screen. The screen
itself
was movable, allowing Rutherford and his associates to determine whether or
not any alpha particles were being deflected by the gold foil.

The
Rutherford
gold-foil

experiment
Encyclopdia Britannica, Inc.

Most alpha particles were observed to pass straight through the gold foil,
which implied that atoms are composed of large amounts of open space.
Some alpha particles were deflected slightly, suggesting interactions with
other positively charged particles within the atom. Still other alpha particles
were scattered at large angles, while a very few even bounced back toward
the source. (Rutherford famously said later, It was almost as incredible as if
you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit
you.) Only a positively charged and relatively heavy target particle, such as
the proposed nucleus, could account for such strong repulsion. The negative
electrons that balanced electrically the positive nuclear charge were regarded
as traveling in circular orbits about the nucleus. The electrostatic force of
attraction between electrons and nucleus was likened to the gravitational force
of attraction between the revolving planets and the Sun. Most of this planetary
atom was open space and offered no resistance to the passage of the alpha
particles.
The Rutherford model supplanted the plum-pudding atomic model of English
physicist Sir J.J. Thomson, in which the electrons were embedded in a
positively charged atom like plums in a pudding. Based wholly on classical
physics, the Rutherford model itself was superseded in a few years by
the Bohr atomic model, which incorporated some early quantum theory.

Experimental basis for the model[edit]


Rutherford overturned Thomson's model in 1911 with his well-known gold foil experiment in which he
demonstrated that the atom has a tiny, heavy nucleus. Rutherford designed an experiment to use
the alpha particles emitted by a radioactive element as probes to the unseen world of atomic
structure. If Thomson was correct, the beam would go straight through the gold foil. Most of the
beams went through the foil, but a few were deflected.
Rutherford presented his own physical model for subatomic structure, as an interpretation for the
unexpected experimental results. In it, the atom is made up of a central charge (this is the
modern atomic nucleus, though Rutherford did not use the term "nucleus" in his paper) surrounded
by a cloud of (presumably) orbitingelectrons. In this May 1911 paper, Rutherford only commits
himself to a small central region of very high positive or negative charge in the atom.
For concreteness, consider the passage of a high speed particle through an atom having a positive
central charge N e, and surrounded by a compensating charge of N electrons.[2]

From purely energetic considerations of how far particles of known speed would be able to penetrate
toward a central charge of 100 e, Rutherford was able to calculate that the radius of his gold central
charge would need to be less (how much less could not be told) than 3.4 10 14 meters. This was in
a gold atom known to be 1010 meters or so in radiusa very surprising finding, as it implied a strong
central charge less than 1/3000th of the diameter of the atom.
The Rutherford model served to concentrate a great deal of the atom's charge and mass to a very
small core, but didn't attribute any structure to the remaining electrons and remaining atomic mass. It
did mention the atomic model of Hantaro Nagaoka, in which the electrons are arranged in one or
more rings, with the specific metaphorical structure of the stable rings of Saturn. The plum pudding
model of J. J. Thomson also had rings of orbiting electrons. Jean Baptiste Perrin claimed in his
Nobel lecture[3] that he was the first one to suggest the model in his paper dated 1901.
The Rutherford paper suggested that the central charge of an atom might be "proportional" to its
atomic mass in hydrogen mass units u (roughly 1/2 of it, in Rutherford's model). For gold, this mass
number is 197 (not then known to great accuracy) and was therefore modeled by Rutherford to be
possibly 196 u. However, Rutherford did not attempt to make the direct connection of central charge
to atomic number, since gold's "atomic number" (at that time merely its place number in the periodic
table) was 79, and Rutherford had modeled the charge to be about +100 units (he had actually
suggested 98 units of positive charge, to make half of 196). Thus, Rutherford did not formally
suggest the two numbers (periodic table place, 79, and nuclear charge, 98 or 100) might be exactly
the same.
A month after Rutherford's paper appeared, the proposal regarding the exact identity of atomic
number and nuclear charge was made by Antonius van den Broek, and later confirmed
experimentally within two years, by Henry Moseley.
These are the key indicators

The atom's electron cloud does not influence alpha particle scattering.

Much of an atom's positive charge is concentrated in a relatively tiny volume at the center of
the atom, known today as the nucleus. The magnitude of this charge is proportional to (up to a
charge number that can be approximately half of) the atom's atomic massthe remaining mass
is now known to be mostly attributed toneutrons. This concentrated central mass and charge is
responsible for deflecting both alpha and beta particles.

The mass of heavy atoms such as gold is mostly concentrated in the central charge region,
since calculations show it is not deflected or moved by the high speed alpha particles, which
have very high momentum in comparison to electrons, but not with regard to a heavy atom as a
whole.

The atom itself is about 100,000 (105) times the diameter of the nucleus.[4] This could be
related to putting a grain of sand in the middle of a football field.[5]

Contribution to modern science[edit]


After Rutherford's discovery, scientists started to realize that the atom is not ultimately a single
particle, but is made up of far smaller subatomic particles. Subsequent research determined the
exact atomic structure which led to Rutherford's gold foil experiment. Scientists eventually
discovered that atoms have a positively charged nucleus (with an exact atomic number of charges)
in the center, with a radius of about 1.2 1015 meters [Atomic Mass Number] . Electrons were
1

found to be even smaller.


Later, scientists found the expected number of electrons (the same as the atomic number) in an
atom by using X-rays. When an X-ray passes through an atom, some of it is scattered while the rest
passes through the atom. Since the X-ray loses its intensity primarily due to scattering at electrons,
by noting the rate of decrease in X-ray intensity, the number of electrons contained in an atom can
be accurately estimated.

Contemporary theories of atomic structure[edit]

The popular theory of atomic structure at the time of Rutherford's experiment was the "plum pudding
model". This model was devised by Lord Kelvin and further developed by J. J. Thomson. Thomson
was the scientist who discovered the electron, and that it was a component of every atom. Thomson
believed the atom was a sphere of positive charge throughout which the electrons were distributed,
a bit like plums in a Christmas pudding. The existence of protons and neutrons was unknown at this
time. They knew atoms were very tiny (Rutherford assumed they were in the order of 10 8 m in
radius[1]). This model was based entirely on classical (Newtonian) physics; the current accepted
model uses quantum mechanics.

Thomson's model was not universally accepted even before Rutherford's experiments. Thomson
himself was never able to develop a complete and stable model of his concept. A Japanese scientist
named Hantaro Nagaoka rejected Thomson's model on the grounds that opposing charges cannot
penetrate each other.[2] He proposed instead that electrons orbit the positive charge like the rings
around Saturn.[3]

Implications of the plum pudding model[edit]


An alpha particle is a sub-microscopic, positively charged particle of matter. According to Thomson's
model, if an alpha particle were to collide with an atom, it would just fly straight through, its path
being deflected by at most a fraction of a degree. At the atomic scale, the concept of "solid matter" is
meaningless, so the alpha particle would not bounce off the atom like a marble; it would be affected
only by the atom's electric fields, and Thomson's model predicted that the electric fields in an atom
are just too weak to affect a passing alpha particle much (alpha particles tend to move very fast).
Both the negative and positive charges within the Thomson atom are spread out over the atom's
entire volume. According to Coulomb's Law, the less concentrated a sphere of electric charge is, the
weaker its electric field at its surface will be.[4][5]

As a worked example, consider an alpha particle passing tangentially to a Thomson gold atom,
where it will experience the electric field at its strongest and thus experience the maximum
deflection . Since the electrons are very light compared to the alpha particle, their influence can be
neglected[6] and the atom can be seen as a heavy sphere of positive charge.
Qn = positive charge of gold atom = 79 e = 1.2661017 C
Q = charge of alpha particle = 2 e = 3.2041019 C
r = radius of a gold atom = 1.441010 m
v = velocity of alpha particle = 1.53107 m/s
m = mass of alpha particle = 6.6451027 kg
k = Coulomb's constant = 8.998109 Nm2/C2

Using classical physics, the alpha particle's lateral change in


momentum p can be approximated using the impulse of force relationship
and the Coulomb forceexpression:
The above calculation is but an approximation of what happens
when an alpha particle comes near a Thomson atom, but it is
clear that the deflection at most will be in the order of a small
fraction of a degree. If the alpha particle were to pass through a
gold foil some 400 atoms thick and experience maximal
deflection in the same direction (unlikely), it would still be a
small deflection.

The outcome of the experiments[edit]

Left: Had Thomson's model been correct, all the alpha particles
should have passed through the foil with minimal scattering.
Right: What Geiger and Marsden observed was that a small fraction
of the alpha particles experienced strong deflection.

At Rutherford's behest, Geiger and Marsden performed a


series of experiments where they pointed a beam of alpha
particles at a thin foil of metal and measured the scattering
pattern by using a fluorescent screen. They spotted alpha
particles bouncing off the metal foil in all directions, some right
back at the source. This should have been impossible
according to Thomson's model; the alpha particles should have

all gone straight through. Obviously, those particles had


encountered an electrostatic force far greater than Thomson's
model suggested they would, which in turn implied that the
atom's positive charge was concentrated in a much tinier
volume than Thomson imagined.[7]
When Geiger and Marsden shot alpha particles at their metal
foils, they noticed only a tiny fraction of the alpha particles were
deflected by more than 90. Most just flew straight through the
foil. This suggested that those tiny spheres of intense positive
charge were separated by vast gulfs of empty space.[7] Most
particles passed through the empty space and experienced
negligible deviation, while a handful struck the nuclei of the
atoms and bounced right back.
Rutherford thus rejected Thomson's model of the atom, and
instead proposed a model where the atom consisted of mostly
empty space, with all its positive charge concentrated in its
center in a very tiny volume, surrounded by a cloud of
electrons.

RUTHERFORDS ATOMIC MODEL


Rutherford's atomic model shows the existence of nucleus in the atom, nature of charge on
the nucleus and the magnitude of charge on the nucleus.
APPARATUS FOR EXPERIMENT

Alpha particles.

Gold foil. (0.0004 cm thick)

Zinc sulphide screen.

Electron Gun.

EXPERIMENT
In his experiments, Rutherford bombarded alpha particles on very thin metallic foils such
as gold foil.In
order to record experimental observations, he made use of circular screen
coated with zinc sulphide.

OBSERVATIONS
He observed that most of the alpha particles were pass through the foil undeflected.
Very few particles were deflected when passed through the foil.
One particle out of 8000 particles was deflected at 90o.
Few particles were deflected at different angles.
For latest information , free computer courses and high impact notes
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MAIN POINTS OF RUTHERFORDS
THEORY
Major portion of the atom is empty.
The whole mass of the atom is concentrated in the center of atom called nucleus.
The positively charged particles are present in the nucleus of atom.
The charge on the nucleus of an atom is equal to (+z.e) where Z= charge number, e =
charge of
proton.
The electrons revolve around the nucleus in different circular orbits.
Size of nucleus is very small as compare to the size of atom.
EXPLANATION OF POSTULATES
1. Since most of the alpha particles were passed through the foil undeflected, therefore, it
was concluded
that most of the atom is empty.
2. Small angles of deflection indicate that positively charged alpha particles were attracted
by electrons.
3. Large angles of deflection indicate that there is a massive positively charged body
present in the atom
and due to repulsion alpha particles were deflected at large angles.
DEFECT OF
RUTHERFORDS THEORY
There were two fundamental defects in Rutherford's atomic model:
According to classical electromagnetic theory, being a charge particle electron when
accelerated must emit energy. We know that the motion of electron around the nucleus is
an accelerated motion, therefore, it must radiate energy. But in actual practice this does

not happen. Suppose if it happens then due to continuous loss of energy orbit of electron
must decrease continuously. Consequently electron will fall into the nucleus. But this is
against the actual situation and this shows that atom is unstable.
If the electrons emit energy continuously, they should form continuous spectrum .But
actually line
spectrum is obtained
ELECTRONEGATIVITY
"Relative tendency or relative power of an atom to attract shared
pair of electrons towards itself is called ELECTRONEGATIVITY."
E.N depends upon the size of atom .
Small atoms have large values of E.N.
Big atoms have small values of E.N.
E.N decreases in a group.
E.N increases in a period.
Most Electronegatively element is "Flourine". E.N = 4

The GeigerMarsden experiment(s) (also called the Rutherford gold foil experiment) were a
landmark series of experiments by which scientists discovered that every atom contains a nucleus
where its positive charge and most of its mass are concentrated. They deduced this by measuring
how an alpha particle beam is scattered when it strikes a thin metal foil. The experiments were
performed between 1908 and 1913 by Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden under the direction
of Ernest Rutherford at the Physical Laboratories of the University of Manchester.

Definition of the Rutherford Model


In many ways, the Rutherford model of the atom is the classic model of the atom, even though it's
no longer considered an accurate representation. Rutherford's model shows that an atom is mostly
empty space, with electrons orbiting a fixed, positively charged nucleus in set, predictable paths.

This model of an atom was developed by Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand native working at the
University of Manchester in England in the early 1900s. Rutherford spent most of his academic
career researching aspects of radioactivity, and in 1908, won the Nobel Prize for his discoveries
related to radioactivity. It was after this that Rutherford began developing his model of the atom.

Discovery of the Atom


The atom was first conceived of by the Greek philosopher Democritus in approximately 400 BCE.
The concept was lost during the Dark Ages of Europe, until 1803, when the British scientist John
Dalton speculated that everything was composed of very tiny indivisible particles called atoms.
Dalton's simple model of an atom persisted until 1897, when another British physicist, J.J.
Thomson, discovered that atoms contained tiny negatively charged particles called electrons. From
1897 to 1909, scientists thought that atoms were composed of electrons spread uniformly throughout
a positively charged matrix. J.J. Thompson's model was known as the plum pudding model.

Dalton's model of the atom depicted a tiny, solid, indivisible sphere. Thompson's plum pudding model
shows electrons (the green circles) distributed in a positively charged matrix.

Development of the Rutherford Model


In 1909, Rutherford conducted his famous gold foil experiment. In the experiment, Rutherford and
his colleague Hans Geiger bombarded a piece of gold foil with positively charged alpha particles,
expecting them to travel straight through the foil. Instead, many alpha particles ricocheted off of the
foil, suggesting that there was something positive these particles were colliding with. They named
this positive force the nucleus. The Rutherford Model was created based on this new data.

This diagram depicts the expected and the actual results of the gold foil experiment. The diagram on
the left shows particles passing through the positively charged matrix of the plum pudding model.
The diagram on the right shows particles ricocheting off of the nucleus in the center of the atom.

Problems with the Rutherford Model


In the years after Rutherford discovered the nucleus, chemists and particle physicists discovered that
electron behavior was much more complicated than depicted in the Rutherford model. Electrons did

not travel in set paths, their speeds were inconsistent, and their location around the nucleus could
change based on how much energy they had. It was no longer accurate to depict electrons as
traveling in straight paths. Instead, physicists began to represent them by an electron cloud that
could suggest where electrons might be at any given time. The electron cloud model is the current
model of the atom.

Ancient Atomic Theory


One of the first atomic theorists was Democritus, a Greek philosopher who lived in the fifth
century BC. Democritus knew that if a stone was divided in half, the two halves would have
essentially the same properties as the whole.Therefore, he reasoned that if the stone were to be
continually cut into smaller and smaller pieces then; at some point, there would be a piece
which would be so small as to be indivisible. He called these small pieces of matter "atomos,"
the Greek word for indivisible. Democritus, theorized that atoms were specific to the material
which they composed. In addition, Democritus believed that the atoms differed in size and
shape, were in constant motion in a void, collided with each other; and during these collisions,
could rebound or stick together. Therefore, changes in matter were a result of dissociations or
combinations of the atoms as they moved throughout the void. Although Democritus' theory was
remarkable, it was rejected by Aristotle, one of the most influential philosophers of Ancient
Greece; and the atomic theory was ignored for nearly 2,000 years.

Early Atomic Theory


Although the idea of the atom was first suggested by Democritus in the fourth century
BC, his suppositions were not useful in explaining chemical phenomena, because there
was no experimental evidence to support them. It was not until the late 1700's that early
chemists began to explain chemical behavior in terms of the atom. Joseph Priestly,
Antoine Lavoisier, and others set the stage for the foundation of chemistry. They
demonstrated that substances could combine to form new materials. It was the English
chemist, John Dalton, who put the pieces of the puzzle together and developed an
atomic theory in 1803.
Dalton's atomic theory contains five basic assumptions:

All matter consists of tiny particles called atoms. Dalton and


others imagined the atoms that composed all matter as tiny,
solid spheres in various stages of motion.

Atoms are indestructible and unchangeable. Atoms of an element cannot be


created, destroyed, divided into smaller pieces, or transformed into atoms of
another element. Dalton based this hypothesis on the law of conservation of
mass as stated by Antoine Lavoisier and others around 1785.

Elements are characterized by the weight of their atoms. Dalton suggested that
all atoms of the same element have identical weights. Therefore, every single
atom of an element such as oxygen is identical to every other oxygen atom.
However, atoms of different elements, such as oxygen and mercury, are
different from each other.

In chemical reactions, atoms combine in small, whole-number ratios.


Experiments that Dalton and others performed indicated that chemical
reactions proceed according to atom to atom ratios which were precise and
well-defined.

When elements react, their atoms may combine in more than one whole-number
ratio. Dalton used this assumption to explain why the ratios of two elements in
various compounds, such as oxygen and nitrogen in nitrogen oxides, differed
by multiples of each other.
John Dalton's atomic theory was generally accepted because it explained the laws of
conservation of mass, definite proportions, multiple proportions, and other
observations. Although exceptions to Dalton's theory are now known, his theory has
endured reasonably well, with modifications, throughout the years.

Modern Atomic Theory: Electrically Charged Particles


Approximately fifty years after John Dalton's proposal of the atom, evidence began to
accumulate which suggested that the atom might not be the solid sphere
that Dalton had envisioned. This evidence came in the form of the discovery of
electrically charged particles and radioactive materials. Based on these new
discoveries, Dalton's proposal of a solid, indestructible atom became unacceptable.
Listed below, are a few of the significant discoveries that were clues that led to the
development of the modern theory of the atom.
In the 1830's, Michael Faraday, a British physicist, made one of the most significant
discoveries that led to the idea that atoms had an electrical component. Faraday placed
two opposite electrodes in a solution of water containing a dissolved compound. He
observed that one of the elements of the dissolved compound accumulated on one
electrode, and the other element was deposited on the opposite electrode. It was clear
to Faraday that electrical forces were responsible for the joining of atoms in
compounds.
In 1879, Sir William Crookes studied the effects of sending an electric current through a
gas in a sealed tube. The tube had electrodes at either end and a flow of electrically
charged particles moved from one of electrodes. This electrode was called the cathode,

and the particles were known as cathode rays. The particles were first believed to be
negatively charged atoms or molecules. However, subsequent experiments showed that
these particles could penetrate thin sheets of material which would not be possible if the
particles were as large as atoms or molecules.
In 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen, experimenting with cathode rays, discovered new and
different kinds of rays. Roentgen discovered that if he directed these rays toward a
paper plate coated with barium platinocyanide, the plate became fluorescent. During
subsequent experiments, he found the rays created an image on a photographic plate.
These "new" rays were originally known as Roentgen rays. We know them today as xrays which are part of theelectromagnetic spectrum.

Bequerel's photographic plate

Modern Atomic Theory: Radioactive Materials


In 1896, Henri Bequerel was studying the fluorescent properties of uranium salts and
placed a piece of the uranium salt on top of a photographic plate wrapped in black
paper. He discovered, upon development, that the plate was exposed in the shape of
the uranium sample. Bequerel had discovered radioactivity. The radiation emitted by the
uranium shared certain properties with x-rays and light. Becquerel and two of his
students, Marie and Pierre Curie, shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics for their
studies in spontaneous radiation.
Further experiments by other scientists showed that when the beam from a radioactive
ore was passed through a strong magnetic field, there were three kinds of radiation
emitted. These rays were named alpha, beta, and gamma by Ernest Rutherford. Alpha
radiation is a stream of positive particles composed of two protons and two neutrons
(helium nuclei), beta radiation is a stream of particles with negative charges now known
as electrons, and gamma radiation is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Based on the evidence of experiments in the latter part of the 19th century, it became
apparent that the atom was not a solid sphere, and was far more complex than
originally thought by the early Greek philosophers and John Dalton. A new model of the
atom would have to be developed to incorporate these new findings.

Thomsons Atomic Theory Proposed Thatthomsons Atomic


Theory Proposed That:
1.

An atom consists of a sphere of positive charge with negatively charged electron


embedded in it,

2.

The positive and the negative charges in an atom are equal in magnitude, due to
which an atom is electrically neutral. It has no over all negative or positive charge.

We can compare the Thomsons atomic theory model with a water melon. The red
edible part of a water melon represents the sphere of a positive charge where as the
black seeds embedded in it is like the electrons.
Thomson discovered electron by the cathode ray tube. It has been previously seen that
if a electric current is passed through a vacuum tube, a steam of glowing material was
formed. Thomson found that the mysterious glowing stream would bend toward a
positively charged electric plate. Thomson atomic theory proved that the stream is made
up of small particles which is piece of the atom and is negatively charged. Thomson
named these particles as electrons.
Thomsons atomic theory model was compared to a Christmas pudding because it was
seen that as the currants are embedded in the pudding similarly the negatively charged
electrons was also embedded in the positively charged sphere. These negatively
charged electron and positively charged proton make an atom neutral. For Thomsons
atomic theory model he was awarded noble prize in 1906 and he died in the year 1940.

Modern Atomic Theory: Models


In 1897, J.J. Thomson discovered the electron by experimenting with a Crookes, or
cathode ray, tube. He demonstrated that cathode rays were negatively charged. In
addition, he also studied positively charged particles in neon gas. Thomson realized that
the accepted model of an atom did not account for negatively or positively charged
particles. Therefore, he proposed a model of the atom which he likened to plum
pudding. The negative electrons represented the raisins in the pudding and the dough
contained the positive charge. Thomson's model of the atom did explain some of the
electrical properties of the atom due to the electrons, but failed to recognize the positive
charges in the atom as particles.

In 1911, Ernest Rutherford, a former student of J.J. Thomson, proved Thomson's plum
pudding structure incorrect. Rutherford with the assistance of Ernest Marsden and Hans
Geiger performed a series of experiments using alpha particles. Rutherford aimed alpha
particles at solid substances such as gold foil and recorded the location of the alpha
particle "strikes" on a fluorescent screen as they passed through the foil. To the
experimenters amazement, although most of the alpha particles passed unaffected
through the gold foil as expected, a small number of particles were deflected at an
angle, and a few ricocheted straight back. Rutherford concluded that the atom consisted
of a small, dense, positively charged nucleus in the center of the atom with negatively
charged electrons surrounding it. The discovery of the nucleus is considered to
be Rutherford's greatest scientific work.
In 1913, Neils Bohr, a student of Rutherford's, developed a new model of the atom. He
proposed that electrons are arranged in concentric circular orbits around the nucleus.
This model is patterned on the solar system and is known as the planetary model. The
Bohr model can be summarized by the following four principles:

1.

Electrons occupy only certain orbits around the nucleus.


Those orbits are stable and are called "stationary" orbits.
2. Each orbit has an energy associated with it.
The orbit nearest the nucleus has an energy
of E1, the next orbit E2, etc.
3. Energy is absorbed when an electron jumps
from a lower orbit to a higher one and energy is
emitted when an electron falls from a higher orbit to a lower
orbit.
4. The energy and frequency of light emitted or absorbed can be calculated by
using the difference between the two orbital energies.

Quantum mechanical model

In 1926 Erwin Schrdinger, an Austrian physicist, took the Bohr atom model one step
further. Schrdinger used mathematical equations to describe the likelihood of finding
an electron in a certain position. This atomic model is known as the quantum
mechanical model of the atom. Unlike the Bohr model, the quantum mechanical model
does not define the exact path of an electron, but rather, predicts the odds of the
location of the electron. This model can be portrayed as a nucleus surrounded by an
electron cloud. Where the cloud is most dense, the probability of finding the electron is
greatest, and conversely, the electron is less likely to be in a less dense area of the
cloud. Thus, this model introduced the concept of sub-energy levels.
Until 1932, the atom was believed to be composed of a positively charged nucleus
surrounded by negatively charged electrons. In 1932, James Chadwick bombarded
beryllium atoms with alpha particles. An unknown radiation was produced. Chadwick
interpreted this radiation as being composed of particles with a neutral electrical charge
and the approximate mass of a proton. This particle became known as the neutron.
With the discovery of the neutron, an adequate model of the atom became available to
chemists.
Since 1932, through continued experimentation, many additional particles have been
discovered in the atom. Also, new elements have been created by bombarding existing
nuclei with various subatomic particles. The atomic theory has been further enhanced
by the concept that protons and neutrons are made of even smaller units called quarks.
The quarks themselves are in turn made of vibrating strings of energy. The theory of the
composition of the atom continues to be an ongoing and exciting adventure.
J. J. Thomson, who discovered the electron in 1897, proposed the plum pudding model of the atom in
1904 before the discovery of the atomic nucleus in order to include the electron in the atomic model. In
Thomson's model, the atom is composed of electrons (which Thomson still called "corpuscles," though G.
J. Stoney had proposed that atoms of electricity be called electrons in 1894) surrounded by a soup of
positive charge to balance the electrons' negative charges, like negatively charged "plums" surrounded by
positively charged "pudding" . The electrons (as we know them today) were thought to be positioned
throughout the atom in rotating rings. In this model the atom was also sometimes described to have a
"cloud" of positive charge.

Plum pudding model of the atom


A schematic presentation of the plum pudding model of the atom; in Thomson's
mathematical model the "corpuscles" (in modern language, electrons) were arranged
non-randomly, in rotating rings.
With this model, Thomson abandoned his earlier "nebular atom" hypothesis, in which the atom was
composed of immaterial vortices. Now, at least part of the atom was to be composed of Thomson's
particulate negative corpuscles, although the rest of the positively charged part of the atom remained
somewhat nebulous and ill-defined.
The 1904 Thomson model was disproved by the 1909 gold foil experiment performed by Hans Geiger and
Ernest Marsden. This gold foil experiment was interpreted by Ernest Rutherford in 1911 to suggest that
there is a very small nucleus of the atom that contains a very high positive charge (in the case of gold,
enough to balance the collective negative charge of about 100 electrons). His conclusions led him to
propose the Rutherford model of the atom.

Source: Boundless. The Thomson Model. Boundless Physics Boundless, 19 Sep. 2016. Retrieved 22
Jan. 2017 from https://www.boundless.com/physics/textbooks/boundless-physics-textbook/atomicphysics-29/the-early-atom-185/the-thomson-model-685-6307/

e plum pudding model is one of several scientific models of the atom. First proposed by J. J.
Thomson in 1904[1] soon after the discovery of the electron, but before the discovery of the atomic
nucleus, the model represented an attempt to consolidate the known properties of atoms at the time:
1) electrons are negatively-charged particles and 2) atoms are neutrally-charged.

Overview[edit]
In this model, atoms were known to consist of negatively charged electrons. Though Thomson called
them "corpuscles," they were more commonly called "electrons" as G. J. Stoney proposed in 1894.
[2]

At the time, atoms were known to be neutrally charged. To account for this, Thomson knew atoms

must also have a source of positive charge to balance the negative charge of the electrons. He
considered three plausible models that would satisfy the known properties of atoms at the time:
1. Each negatively-charged electron was paired with a positively-charged particle that followed
it everywhere within the atom.
2. Negatively-charged electrons orbited a central region of positive charge having the same
magnitude as all the electrons.

3. The negative electrons occupied a region of space that itself was a uniform positive charge
(often considered as a kind of "soup" or "cloud" of positive charge).
Thomson chose the third possibility as the most likely structure of atoms. Thomson published his
proposed model in the March 1904 edition of the Philosophical Magazine, the leading British science
journal of the day. In Thomson's view:
... the atoms of the elements consist of a number of negatively electrified corpuscles enclosed in a
sphere of uniform positive electrification, ...[3]
With this model, Thomson abandoned his earlier "nebular atom" hypothesis in which atoms were
composed of immaterial vortices. Being an astute and practical scientist, Thomson based his atomic
model on known experimental evidence of the day. His proposal of a positive volume charge reflects
the nature of his scientific approach to discovery which was to propose ideas to guide future
experiments.
The orbits of electrons within the model were stabilized by the fact that when an electron moved
away from the centre of the positively-charged sphere, it was subjected to a greater net positive
inward force, because there was more positive charge inside its orbit (see Gauss's law). Electrons
were free to rotate in rings which were further stabilized by interactions among the electrons, and
spectroscopic measurements were meant to account for energy differences associated with different
electron rings. Thomson attempted unsuccessfully to reshape his model to account for some of the
major spectral lines experimentally known for several elements.
The plum pudding model usefully guided his student, Ernest Rutherford, to devise experiments to
further explore the composition of atoms. As well, Thomson's model (along with a similar Saturnian
ring model for atomic electrons put forward in 1904 by Nagaoka after James Clerk Maxwell's model
of Saturn's rings), were useful predecessors of the more correct solar-system-like Bohr model of the
atom.
The colloquial nickname "plum pudding" was soon attributed to Thomson's model as the distribution
of electrons within its positively-charged region of space reminded many scientists of "plums" in the
common English dessert, plum pudding.
In 1909, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden conducted experiments with thin sheets of gold. Their
professor, Ernest Rutherford, expected to find results consistent with Thomson's atomic model. It
wasn't until 1911 that Rutherford correctly interpreted the experiment's results [4] [5] which implied the
presence of a very small nucleus of positive charge at the center of gold atoms. This led to the
development of the Rutherford model of the atom. Immediately after Rutherford published his
results, Antonius Van den Broek made the intuitive proposal that the atomic number of an atom is
the total number of units of charge present in its nucleus. Henry Moseley's 1913 experiments
(see Moseley's law) provided the necessary evidence to support Van den Broek's proposal. The

effective nuclear charge was found to be consistent with the atomic number (Moseley found only one
unit of charge difference). This work culminated in the solar-system-like (but quantum-limited) Bohr
model of the atom in the same year, in which a nucleus containing an atomic number of positive
charges is surrounded by an equal number of electrons in orbital shells. As Thomson's model guided
Rutherford's experiments, Bohr's model guided Moseley's research.

Dalton's Atomic Theory


Democritus first suggested the existence of the atom but it took almost two millennia
before the atom was placed on a solid foothold as a fundamental chemical object by
John Dalton (1766-1844). Although two centuries old, Dalton's atomic theory remains
valid in modern chemical thought.
Dalton's Atomic
Theory
1) All matter is
made of atoms.
Atoms are
indivisible and
indestructible.
2) All atoms of a
given element are
identical in mass
and properties
3) Compounds are
formed by a
combination of two
or more different
kinds of atoms.
4) A chemical
reaction is
arearrangement of
atoms.

Modern atomic theory is, of course, a little more involved than Dalton's theory but the
essence of Dalton's theory remains valid. Today we know that atoms can be destroyed
via nuclear reactions but not by chemical reactions. Also, there are different kinds of
atoms (differing by their masses) within an element that are known as "isotopes", but
isotopes of an element have the same chemical properties.

Many heretofore unexplained chemical phenomena were quickly explained by Dalton


with his theory. Dalton's theory quickly became the theoretical foundation in
chemistry.

Key Points

Dalton's atomic theory was the first complete attempt

to describe all matter in terms of atoms and their properties.

Dalton based his theory on the law of conservation of


mass and the law of constant composition.

The first part of his theory states that all matter is


made of atoms, which are indivisible.

The second part of the theory says all atoms of a


given element are identical in mass and properties.

The third part says compounds are combinations of


two or more different types of atoms.

The fourth part of the theory states that a chemical


reaction is a rearrangement of atoms.

Parts of the theory had to be modified based on the


discovery of subatomic particles and isotopes.

Chemists ask questions.


Chemistry is full of unanswered questions. One of the first
questions people have been asking since ancient times
is What is the world made of?
That is, if we were to zoom in ~100000000000 timesthat is
11 zeros!on the skin of your fingertip, what would we see?
Would that look any different from zooming in on, say, an
apple? If we then cut up the apple into tinier and tinier pieces

using an imaginary tiny knife, would we reach a point where


the pieces could no longer be cut any smaller? What would
those pieces look like, and would they still have apple
properties?
The answers to these questions are fundamental to modern
chemistry, and chemists didn't agree on the answer until a
few hundred years ago. Thanks to scientists such as John
Dalton, modern chemists think of the world in terms of
atoms. Even if we can't see atoms with our naked eye,
properties of matter such as color, phase (e.g., solid, liquid,
gas), and even smell come from interactions on an atomic
level. This article will discuss John Dalton's atomic theory,
which was the first complete attempt to describe all matter in
terms of atoms and their properties.

Basis for Dalton's theory


Dalton based his theory on two laws: the law of conservation
of mass and the law of constant composition.
The law of conservation of mass says that matter is not
created or destroyed in a closed system. That means if we
have a chemical reaction, the amount of each element must
be the same in the starting materials and the products. We
use the law of conservation of mass every time we balance
equations!

Atomic theory
The most important of all Dalton's investigations are those concerned with the atomic theory in
chemistry. While his name is inseparably associated with this theory, the origin of Dalton's atomic
theory is not fully understood.[11] It has been proposed that this theory was suggested to him either by
researches on ethylene (olefiant gas) and methane (carburetted hydrogen) or by analysis of nitrous
oxide (protoxide of azote) and nitrogen dioxide (deutoxide of azote), both views resting on the
authority of Thomas Thomson.[12] However, a study of Dalton's own laboratory notebooks, discovered
in the rooms of the Lit & Phil,[13] concluded that so far from Dalton being led by his search for an
explanation of the law of multiple proportions to the idea that chemical combination consists in the
interaction of atoms of definite and characteristic weight, the idea of atoms arose in his mind as a
purely physical concept, forced upon him by study of the physical properties of theatmosphere and
other gases. The first published indications of this idea are to be found at the end of his paper on the
absorption of gases already mentioned, which was read on 21 October 1803, though not published
until 1805. Here he says:
Why does not water admit its bulk of every kind of gas alike? This question I have duly considered,
and though I am not able to satisfy myself completely I am nearly persuaded that the circumstance
depends on the weight and number of the ultimate particles of the several gases.
The main points of Dalton's atomic theory were:
1. Elements are made of extremely small particles called atoms.
2. Atoms of a given element are identical in size, mass, and other properties; atoms of different
elements differ in size, mass, and other properties.
3. Atoms cannot be subdivided, created, or destroyed.
4. Atoms of different elements combine in simple whole-number ratios to form chemical
compounds.
5. In chemical reactions, atoms are combined, separated, or rearranged.
Dalton proposed an additional "rule of greatest simplicity" that created controversy, since it could not
be independently confirmed.
When atoms combine in only one ratio, "..it must be presumed to be a binary one, unless
some cause appear to the contrary".

For elements that combined in multiple ratios, their combinations were assumed to be the
simplest ones possible. Two combinations resulted in a binary and a ternary compound. [14] This
was merely an assumption, derived from faith in the simplicity of nature. No evidence was then
available to scientists to deduce how many atoms of each element combine to form compound
molecules. But this or some other such rule was absolutely necessary to any incipient theory,
since one needed an assumed molecular formula in order to calculate relative atomic weights. In
any case, Dalton's "rule of greatest simplicity" caused him to assume that the formula for water
was OH and ammonia was NH, quite different from our modern understanding (H2O, NH3).
Despite the uncertainty at the heart of Dalton's atomic theory, the principles of the theory
survived. To be sure, the conviction that atoms cannot be subdivided, created, or destroyed into
smaller particles when they are combined, separated, or rearranged in chemical reactions is
inconsistent with the existence of nuclear fusion and nuclear fission, but such processes are
nuclear reactions and not chemical reactions. In addition, the idea that all atoms of a given
element are identical in their physical and chemical properties is not precisely true, as we now
know that different isotopes of an element have slightly varying weights. However, Dalton had
created a theory of immense power and importance. Indeed, Dalton's innovation was fully as
important for the future of the science as Antoine Laurent Lavoisier's oxygen-based chemistry
had been.

Atomic weights
Dalton proceeded to print his first published table of relative atomic weights. Six elements
appear in this table, namely hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus, with
the atom of hydrogen conventionally assumed to weigh 1. Dalton provided no indication in this
first paper how he had arrived at these numbers.[citation needed] However, in his laboratory notebook
under the date 6 September 1803[15] there appears a list in which he sets out the relative weights
of the atoms of a number of elements, derived from analysis of water, ammonia, carbon dioxide,
etc. by chemists of the time.
It appears, then, that confronted with the problem of calculating the relative diameter of the
atoms of which, he was convinced, all gases were made, he used the results of chemical
analysis. Assisted by the assumption that combination always takes place in the simplest
possible way, he thus arrived at the idea that chemical combination takes place between
particles of different weights, and it was this which differentiated his theory from the historic
speculations of the Greeks, such asDemocritus and Lucretius.[citation needed]
The extension of this idea to substances in general necessarily led him to the law of multiple
proportions, and the comparison with experiment brilliantly confirmed his deduction. [16] It may be

noted that in a paper on the proportion of the gases or elastic fluids constituting the atmosphere,
read by him in November 1802, the law of multiple proportions appears to be anticipated in the
words: "The elements of oxygen may combine with a certain portion of nitrous gas or with twice
that portion, but with no intermediate quantity", but there is reason to suspect that this sentence
may have been added some time after the reading of the paper, which was not published until
1805.
Compounds were listed as binary, ternary, quaternary, etc. (molecules composed of two, three,
four, etc. atoms) in the New System of Chemical Philosophydepending on the number of atoms
a compound had in its simplest, empirical form.
He hypothesized the structure of compounds can be represented in whole number ratios. So,
one atom of element X combining with one atom of element Y is a binary compound.
Furthermore, one atom of element X combining with two elements of Y or vice versa, is a ternary
compound. Many of the first compounds listed in the New System of Chemical
Philosophy correspond to modern views, although many others do not.

Various atoms and molecules as depicted in John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy (1808).

Dalton used his own symbols to visually represent the atomic structure of compounds. These
were depicted in theNew System of Chemical Philosophy, where Dalton listed twenty elements
and seventeen simple molecules.

Other investigations
Dalton published papers on such diverse topics as rain and dew and the origin of springs
(hydrosphere); on heat, the color of the sky, steam, and the reflection and refraction of light; and
on the grammatical subjects of the auxiliary verbs andparticiples of the English language.
History of Dalton's Atomic Theory
Although the concept of the atom dates back to the ideas of Democritus, the English meteorologist and
chemist John Dalton formulated the first modern description of it as the fundamental building block of
chemical structures. Dalton developed the law of multiple proportions (first presented in 1803) by studying
and expanding upon the works of Antoine Lavoisier and Joseph Proust.
Proust had studied tin oxides and found that their masses were either 88.1% tin and 11.9% oxygen or
78.7% tin and 21.3% oxygen (these were tin(II) oxide and tin dioxide respectively). Dalton noted from
these percentages that 100g of tin will combine either with 13.5g or 27g of oxygen; 13.5 and 27 form a
ratio of 1:2. Dalton found an atomic theory of matter could elegantly explain this common pattern
in chemistry - in the case of Proust's tin oxides, one tin atom will combine with either one or two oxygen
atoms.
Dalton also believed atomic theory could explain why water absorbed different gases in different
proportions: for example, he found that water absorbed carbon dioxide far better than it
absorbed nitrogen. Dalton hypothesized this was due to the differences in the mass and complexity of
the gases' respective particles. Indeed, carbon dioxide molecules (CO2) are heavier and larger than
nitrogen molecules (N2).
Dalton proposed that each chemical element is composed of atoms of a single, unique type, and though
they cannot be altered or destroyed by chemical means, they can combine to form more complex
structures (chemical compounds). Since Dalton reached his conclusions by experimentation and
examination of the results in an empirical fashion, this marked the first truly scientific theory of the atom.

John Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy


This image from Dalton's A New System of Chemical Philosophy, published in 1808,
depicts various atoms and molecules.
Dalton's Atomic Theory
The main points of Dalton's atomic theory are:

1.

Everything is composed of atoms, which are the indivisible building blocks of matter
and cannot be destroyed.

2.

All atoms of an element are identical.

3.

The atoms of different elements vary in size and mass.

4.

Compounds are produced through different whole-number combinations of atoms.

5.

A chemical reaction results in the rearrangement of atoms in


the reactant and product compounds.
Atomic theory has been revised over the years to incorporate the existence of atomic isotopes and the
interconversion of mass and energy. In addition, the discovery of subatomic particles has shown that
atoms can be divided into smaller parts. However, Dalton's importance in the development of modern
atomic theory has been recognized by the designation of the atomic mass unit as a Dalton.

Source: Boundless. John Dalton and Atomic Theory. Boundless Chemistry Boundless, 26 May. 2016.
Retrieved 22 Jan. 2017 from https://www.boundless.com/chemistry/textbooks/boundless-chemistrytextbook/atoms-molecules-and-ions-2/history-of-atomic-structure-32/john-dalton-and-atomic-theory-1976138/

Bohr Atomic Model :


In 1913 Bohr proposed his quantized shell model of the atom to explain how electrons
can have stable orbits around the nucleus. The motion of the electrons in the
Rutherford model was unstable because, according to classical mechanics and
electromagnetic theory, any charged particle moving on a curved path emits
electromagnetic radiation; thus, the electrons would lose energy and spiral into the
nucleus. To remedy the stability problem, Bohr modified the Rutherford model by
requiring that the electrons move in orbits of fixed size and energy. The energy of an
electron depends on the size of the orbit and is lower for smaller orbits. Radiation can
occur only when the electron jumps from one orbit to another. The atom will be
completely stable in the state with the smallest orbit, since there is no orbit of lower
energy into which the electron can jump.

Bohr's starting point was to realize that classical mechanics by itself could never
explain the atom's stability. A stable atom has a certain size so that any equation
describing it must contain some fundamental constant or combination of constants
with a dimension of length. The classical fundamental constants--namely, the charges
and the masses of the electron and the nucleus--cannot be combined to make a length.
Bohr noticed, however, that the quantum constant formulated by the German physicist
Max Planck has dimensions which, when combined with the mass and charge of the
electron, produce a measure of length. Numerically, the measure is close to the known
size of atoms. This encouraged Bohr to use Planck's constant in searching for a theory
of the atom.
Planck had introduced his constant in 1900 in a formula explaining the light radiation
emitted from heated bodies. According to classical theory, comparable amounts of
light energy should be produced at all frequencies. This is not only contrary to
observation but also implies the absurd result that the total energy radiated by a heated
body should be infinite. Planck postulated that energy can only be emitted or absorbed
in discrete amounts, which he called quanta (the Latin word for "how much"). The
energy quantum is related to the frequency of the light by a new fundamental constant,
h. When a body is heated, its radiant energy in a particular frequency range is,
according to classical theory, proportional to the temperature of the body. With
Planck's hypothesis, however, the radiation can occur only in quantum amounts of
energy. If the radiant energy is less than the quantum of energy, the amount of light in
that frequency range will be reduced. Planck's formula correctly describes radiation
from heated bodies. Planck's constant has the dimensions of action, which may be
expressed as units of energy multiplied by time, units of momentum multiplied by
length, or units of angular momentum. For example, Planck's constant can be written
as h = 6.6x10-34 joule seconds.
Using Planck's constant, Bohr obtained an accurate formula for the energy levels of
the hydrogen atom. He postulated that the angular momentum of the electron is
quantized--i.e., it can have only discrete values. He assumed that otherwise electrons
obey the laws of classical mechanics by traveling around the nucleus in circular orbits.
Because of the quantization, the electron orbits have fixed sizes and energies. The
orbits are labeled by an integer, the quantum number n.

With his model, Bohr explained how electrons could jump from one orbit to another
only by emitting or absorbing energy in fixed quanta. For example, if an electron
jumps one orbit closer to the nucleus, it must emit energy equal to the difference of
the energies of the two orbits. Conversely, when the electron jumps to a larger orbit, it
must absorb a quantum of light equal in energy to the difference in orbits.

n 1912, Bohr was working for the Nobel laureate J.J. Thompson in England when he
was introduced to Ernest Rutherford, whose discovery of the nucleus and development
of an atomic model had earned him a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1908. Under
Rutherford's tutelage, Bohr began studying the properties of atoms.
Combining Rutherford's description of the nucleus and Planck's theory about quanta,
Bohr explained what happens inside an atom and developed a picture of atomic
structure. This work earned him a Nobel Prize of his own in 1922.
In the same year that he began his studies with Rutherford, Bohr married the love of his
life, Margaret Nrlund, with whom he had six sons. Later in life, he became president of
the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, as well as a member of scientific academies all
over the world.

Atomic model

Bohr's greatest contribution to modern physics was the atomic model. The Bohr model
shows the atom as a small, positively charged nucleus surrounded by orbiting
electrons.

A stylized representation of a lithium atom illustrates Niels Bohr's atomic


model, that an atom is a small, positively charged nucleus surrounded by
orbiting electrons.
Credit: Boris15Shutterstock

Bohr was the first to discover that electrons travel in separate orbits around the
nucleus and that the number of electrons in the outer orbit determines the properties of
an element.
The chemical element bohrium (Bh), No. 107 on the Periodic Table of the Elements,
is named for him.

In atomic physics, the RutherfordBohr model or Bohr model or Bohr diagram, introduced
by Niels Bohrand Ernest Rutherford in 1913, depicts the atom as a small, positively
charged nucleus surrounded byelectrons that travel in circular orbits around the nucleussimilar in
structure to the Solar System, but with attraction provided by electrostatic forces rather than gravity.
After the cubic model (1902), the plum-pudding model (1904), the Saturnian model (1904), and
the Rutherford model (1911) came the RutherfordBohr modelor just Bohr model for short (1913).
The improvement to the Rutherford model is mostly a quantum physical interpretation of it. The
model's key success lay in explaining the Rydberg formula for the spectral emission lines of
atomic hydrogen. While the Rydberg formula had been known experimentally, it did not gain a
theoretical underpinning until the Bohr model was introduced. Not only did the Bohr model explain
the reason for the structure of the Rydberg formula, it also provided a justification for its empirical
results in terms of fundamental physical constants.
The Bohr model is a relatively primitive model of the hydrogen atom, compared to the valence shell
atom. As a theory, it can be derived as a first-order approximation of the hydrogen atom using the
broader and much more accurate quantum mechanics and thus may be considered to be
an obsolete scientific theory. However, because of its simplicity, and its correct results for selected
systems (see below for application), the Bohr model is still commonly taught to introduce students
to quantum mechanics or energy level diagrams before moving on to the more accurate, but more

complex, valence shell atom. A related model was originally proposed by Arthur Erich Haas in 1910,
but was rejected. The quantum theory of the period between Planck's discovery of the
quantum (1900) and the advent of a full-blown quantum mechanics (1925) is often referred to as
the old quantum theory.

Origin[edit]

Bohr model showing maximum electrons per shell with shells labeled in X-ray notation

In the early 20th century, experiments by Ernest Rutherford established that atoms consisted of a
diffuse cloud of negatively charged electrons surrounding a small, dense, positively
charged nucleus.[2] Given this experimental data, Rutherford naturally considered a planetary-model
atom, the Rutherford model of 1911 electrons orbiting a solar nucleus however, said planetarymodel atom has a technical difficulty. The laws of classical mechanics (i.e. the Larmor formula),
predict that the electron will release electromagnetic radiation while orbiting a nucleus. Because the
electron would lose energy, it would rapidly spiral inwards, collapsing into the nucleus on a timescale
of around 16 picoseconds.[3] This atom model is disastrous, because it predicts that all atoms are
unstable.[4]
Also, as the electron spirals inward, the emission would rapidly increase in frequency as the orbit got
smaller and faster. This would produce a continuous smear, in frequency, of electromagnetic
radiation. However, late 19th century experiments withelectric discharges have shown that atoms will
only emit light (that is, electromagnetic radiation) at certain discrete frequencies.
To overcome this difficulty, Niels Bohr proposed, in 1913, what is now called the Bohr model of the
atom. He suggested that electrons could only have certain classical motions:
1. Electrons in atoms orbit the nucleus.
2. The electrons can only orbit stably, without radiating, in certain orbits (called by Bohr the
"stationary orbits"[5]) at a certain discrete set of distances from the nucleus. These orbits are

associated with definite energies and are also called energy shells or energy levels. In these
orbits, the electron's acceleration does not result in radiation and energy loss as required by
classical electromagnetics. The Bohr model of an atom was based upon Planck's quantum
theory of radiation.
3. Electrons can only gain and lose energy by jumping from one allowed orbit to another,
absorbing or emitting electromagnetic radiation with a frequency determined by the energy
difference of the levels according to the Planck relation:
where h is Planck's constant. The frequency of the radiation emitted at an orbit of period T is
as it would be in classical mechanics; it is the reciprocal of the classical orbit period:
The significance of the Bohr model is that the laws of classical mechanics apply to the motion of the
electron about the nucleus only when restricted by a quantum rule. Although Rule 3 is not completely
well defined for small orbits, because the emission process involves two orbits with two different
periods, Bohr could determine the energy spacing between levels using Rule 3 and come to an
exactly correct quantum rule: the angular momentum L is restricted to be an integer multiple of a
fixed unit:
where n = 1, 2, 3, ... is called the principal quantum number, and = h/2. The lowest value
of n is 1; this gives a smallest possible orbital radius of 0.0529 nm known as the Bohr radius.
Once an electron is in this lowest orbit, it can get no closer to the proton. Starting from the
angular momentum quantum rule, Bohr[2] was able to calculate the energies of the allowed
orbits of the hydrogen atom and other hydrogen-like atoms and ions.
Other points are:
1. Like Einstein's theory of the Photoelectric effect, Bohr's formula assumes that during a
quantum jump a discrete amount of energy is radiated. However, unlike Einstein, Bohr
stuck to the classical Maxwell theory of the electromagnetic field. Quantization of the
electromagnetic field was explained by the discreteness of the atomic energy levels;
Bohr did not believe in the existence of photons.
2. According to the Maxwell theory the frequency of classical radiation is equal to the
rotation frequency rot of the electron in its orbit, with harmonics at integer multiples of
this frequency. This result is obtained from the Bohr model for jumps between energy
levels En and Enk when k is much smaller than n. These jumps reproduce the frequency
of the k-th harmonic of orbit n. For sufficiently large values of n (so-called Rydberg
states), the two orbits involved in the emission process have nearly the same rotation
frequency, so that the classical orbital frequency is not ambiguous. But for small n (or
large k), the radiation frequency has no unambiguous classical interpretation. This

marks the birth of the correspondence principle, requiring quantum theory to agree with
the classical theory only in the limit of large quantum numbers.
3. The Bohr-Kramers-Slater theory (BKS theory) is a failed attempt to extend the Bohr
model, which violates the conservation of energy and momentum in quantum jumps,
with the conservation laws only holding on average.
Bohr's condition, that the angular momentum is an integer multiple of was later reinterpreted in
1924 by de Broglie as a standing wave condition: the electron is described by a wave and a
whole number of wavelengths must fit along the circumference of the electron's orbit:
Substituting de Broglie's wavelength of = h/p reproduces Bohr's rule. In 1913, however,
Bohr justified his rule by appealing to the correspondence principle, without providing any
sort of wave interpretation. In 1913, the wave behavior of matter particles such as the
electron (i.e., matter waves) was not suspected.
In 1925, a new kind of mechanics was proposed, quantum mechanics, in which Bohr's
model of electrons traveling in quantized orbits was extended into a more accurate model of
electron motion. The new theory was proposed by Werner Heisenberg. Another form of the
same theory, wave mechanics, was discovered by the Austrian physicist Erwin
Schrdinger independently, and by different reasoning. Schrdinger employed de Broglie's
matter waves, but sought wave solutions of a three-dimensional wave equation describing
electrons that were constrained to move about the nucleus of a hydrogen-like atom, by
being trapped by the potential of the positive nuclear charge.

Bohr's Model of the Atom


The Rutherford model had a major drawback, it could not explain why electrons do not fall into the
nucleus by taking a spiral path.
It was in concurrence with the electromagnetic theory that states "if a charged particle undergoes
accelerated motion, then it must radiate energy (lose) continuously".
The objections of Rutherford atomic model was contested by Niels Bohr atomic model in 1913. Niels Bohr
proposed the quantum theory of an atom. The theory was based on the quantum theory of radiation. Bohr
retained the main postulates of Rutherford planetary model and did some medication on the basis of
quantum physics. Hence, Bohr atomic model is also known as Rutherford-Bohr atomic model.
He depicts the atom as a tiny, spherical body which consists nucleus at center and negatively charged
particles (electrons) revolving around nucleus in a certain path known as orbit. He proposed some new
postulate with same basis concepts of Rutherford theory.

Bohr's Atomic Model


In order to explain the stability of an atom, Neils Bohr gave a new arrangement of electrons in the atom in
1913. According to Neils Bohr, the electrons could revolve around the nucleus in only 'certain
orbits' (energy levels), each orbit having a different radius.
When an electron is revolving in a particular orbit or particular energy level around the nucleus, the
electron does not radiate energy (lose energy) even though it has accelerated motion around the nucleus.

Arrangement of energy levels around the nucleus

Niels Bohr Atomic Theory


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An atom is made up of three particles, electrons, protons and neutrons. Electrons have a
negative charge and protons have a positive charge whereas neutrons have no charge. They are
neutral. Due to the presence of equal number of negative electrons and positive protons, the
atom as a whole is electrically neutral.

The protons and electrons are located in a small nucleus at the center of the atom. Due to the
presence of protons, the nucleus is positively charged.

The electrons revolve rapidly around the nucleus in fixed circular paths called energy levels or
shells. The 'energy levels' or 'shells' or 'orbits' are represented in two ways: either by the

numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or by letters K, L, M, N, O and P. The energy levels are counted


from center outwards.

Each energy level is associated with a fixed amount of energy. The shell nearest to the nucleus
has minimum energy and the shell farthest from the nucleus has maximum energy.

There is no change in the energy of electrons as long as they keep revolving with the same
energy level. But, when an electron jumps from a lower energy level to a higher one, some
energy is absorbed while some energy is emitted.

When an electron jumps from a higher energy level to a lower one, the amount of energy
absorbed or emitted is given by the difference of energies associated with the two levels. Thus, if
an electron jumps from orbit 1 (energy E1) to orbit 2 (energy E2), the change in energy is given by
E2 - E1 .

The energy change is accompanied by absorption of radiation energy of E = E2 E1 = h where, h


is a constant called'Planck's constant' and is the frequency of radiation absorbed or emitted.
The value of h is 6.626 x 10-34 J-s. The absorption and emission of light due to electron jumps are
measured by use of spectrometers.

This model of the atom was able to explain the stability of the atom. It also explained the phenomenon of
atomic spectra and ionization of gases.
Read More

Postulates of Niels Bohr Atomic Theory


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The important postulates in his theory are,


1. Electrons revolve round the nucleus with definite velocities in concentric circular orbits situated at
definite distances from the nucleus. The energy of an electron in a certain orbit remains constant.
As long as it remains in that orbit, it neither emits nor absorbs energy. These are termed
stationary states or main energy states.
2. Bohr proposed that the angular momentum of an electron is quantized. Thus, the motion of an
electron is restricted to those orbits where its angular momentum is an integral multiple
of h2h2, where h is Plancks constant.

3. Thus we have the relationship mvr =

nh2nh2, where m is mass of electron, v is velocity of

electron of said orbit, r is radius of that orbit, n is a simple integer.


4. The stationary states or allowed energy levels are only those where n = 1, 2, 3, This is called
Bohr quantum condition.
5. The energy of an electron changes only when it moves from one orbit to another. An electronic
transition from an inner orbit to outer orbit involves absorption of energy. Similarly, when an
electron jumps from an outer orbit to inner orbit it releases energy, which is equal to the difference
between the two energy levels.
6. The energy thus released in the form of a radiation of a certain frequency appears in the form a
line in the atomic spectrum. If the energy of an electron in the outer orbit (n 2) is E2 and energy of
electron in the inner orbit (n1) is E1 then E2 - E1 = E = h.
7. The value of n could be small integers 1, 2, 3 and these correspond to the first, second, third, and
so on. Quantum states are shells for the electron; n is termed as principal quantum number.
8. Based on the Bohr theory Bohr calculated the radii of the various orbits and the energies
associated with the electrons present in those shells.

Bohr Model of Hydrogen


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Bohr used the concept of quantization of energy and laws of classical physics. He gave many
mathematical expressions like radius of orbits, velocity and energy of electrons. These expressions
satisfactorily explain the spectrum of hydrogen. Lets calculate all these expressions to explain the
spectrum of hydrogen (1H1).

1. Radius of nth orbit


According to bohr model,the attraction force between electron and nucleus is balanced by centrifugal
force of electron which is due to motion of electron and tend to take electron away from nucleus.
Lets take,
Atomic number of atom = Z
Charge on electron = e
Charge on nucleus = Ze
Radius of nth orbit = r n
The electrostatic force of attraction =

Ze2rn2Ze2rn2 --------------(1)

The centripetal force = mV2rmV2r ----------------(2)


Since both forces balanced each other. Hence from equation 1 and 2

Ze2rn2Ze2rn2 = mV2rmV2r
(or)
V = Ze2rnmZe2rnm ------------(3)
2

Form Bohr postulate mVrn = h2h2


or m2V2rn2 = h242h242
Plug the value of V2 from equ----(3)
m2 x Ze2rnmZe2rnm x rn2 = h242h242
(or)
m x Ze2 x rn = n2h242n2h242
(or)
rn = n2h2mZe242n2h2mZe242 --------------(4)

Since
h = 6.62 x 10-27 erg.sec

= 3.142
m = 9.109 x 10-28gm
e = 4.803 x 10-10esu
so

h2me242h2me242 = 0.529

Plug value of constants in (4)


rn = n2Zn2Z x 0.529

Since the atomic number for hydrogen is one, so, the radius of nth orbit of hydrogen will be r 1=
n2 0.529 .

Since the value of Z is constant for an atom, r n n 2 , so radius increases with increasing the
value of n.

If the value of n is constant , rn 1Z1Z

Hence, radius of a particular orbit decreases with increasing the atomic number.
Relation between r1 and rn of hydrogen atom
Since r n = n2 0.529
And r1 = 0.529
Hence r n = r1 n2 = 0.529 n2

2. Calculation of the velocity of electron in Bohr orbit


Form Bohr postulate

Ze2r2nZe2rn2 = mV2rmV2r
(or)
V2 = Ze2rnmZe2rnm
Since rn = n2h2mZe242n2h2mZe242

Hence V2 = Z2e442n2h2Z2e442n2h2
(or)
V = Ze22nhZe22nh -------------(5)
Plug all constants (e ,r,h, ) values in equation (5)
V = ZnZn x 2.188 x 108 cm/sec
For hydrogen atom, Z = 1
Hence V = 2.188 x 108 /n cm.sec-1

3. Energy of electron in nth orbit


According to Bohr atomic model, the maximum energy value of electron at infinite is zero because of
negligible attraction force between electron and nucleus at infinite distance.
Hence, as electron comes closer to nucleus, the energy becomes negative.
Energy of electron is the sum of its potential energy because the electron lies in the field of the positive
nucleus and kinetic energy which is due to motion of electron. The potential energy of electron is negative
and equals to Ze2rZe2r, while the kinetic energy is positive and equals to

12mv212mv2.

Hence the total energy of electron

mv212mv2

En = Ze2rZe2r + 12

Since mv2 = Ze2rnZe2rn


Hence En = 12Ze2mZe242n2h212Ze2mZe242n2h2
En = - 12Ze2rn12Ze2rn
We know that
rn = n2h2mZe242n2h2mZe242
So En = 1212 Ze2 x mZe242n2h2mZe242n2h2
= Z2n2Z2n2 x 22me2h222me2h2

Since 22me2h222me2h2 is a constant value, which is equals to 13.60 ev/atom.

So En = Z2n2Z2n2 x 13.60 ev/atom


En = Z2n2Z2n2 x 2.179 erg/atom
En = Z2n2Z2n2 x 313.6 KCal/mol
En = Z2n2Z2n2 x 21.79 x 10-19 J/atom
For hydrogen Z = 1 so for
So En = - 1n21n2 x 13.60 eV/atom

Spectrum of Hydrogen Atom


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Bohr atomic model states that the spectrum series arises when an electron jumps from an initial
stationary orbit (with principle quantum number ni) to the final orbit (with principle quantum number nf).
Hence, the energy change associated with these orbits are emitted as photon of frequency .

E = h = Ei - EfSince E = - 1212 Ze2rnZe2rn


and
rn = n2h2mZe242n2h2mZe242
Ei - Ef = h = - 1212 Ze2 x mZe242h2mZe242h2 [1n2f1nf2 - 1n2i1ni2 ]

Ei - Ef = h$\nu $ = - mZ2e422h2mZ2e422h2

[1n2f1nf2 - 1n2i1ni2 ]

Since = CC
So Ei - Ef = 11
= - mZ2e422ch2mZ2e422ch2 [1n2f1nf2 - 1n2i1ni2 ]
here me42p2 / ch3 is a constant and equals to 109700cm-1. Its also known as Rydberg constant. Hence
Wave number=11 = R

Z2Z2[1n2f1n2i1nf21ni2] . This equation is known as Rydberg

equation.
By using this equation, the wave number of photons of various spectral series of hydrogen is as
follows.

Lymen series
In this series, the spectrum line corresponds to the transition of electron form some higher energy level to
lower energy level (nf=1)Wave number=11

= R[112112-1n2i1ni2] , n =2,3,4....
i

Lymen series is found in ultraviolet region of spectrum.

Balmer series
In this series, the spectrum line corresponds to the transition of electron form some higher energy level to
lower energy level (nf=2)Wave number=11

= R[1221n2i1221ni2] , n =3,4....
i

Balmer series is found in visible region of spectrum.

Pashen series
In this series, the spectrum line corresponds to the transition of electron form some higher energy level to
lower energy level (nf=3)Wave number=11

= R[1321ni21321ni2] , n =4,5,6....
i

Pashen series is found in infrared region of spectrum.

Brackett series
In this series, the spectrum line corresponds to the transition of electron form some higher energy level to
lower energy level (nf=4)Wave number=11

= R[1421ni21421ni2] , n =4,5,6....
i

Brackett series is found in infrared region of spectrum.

Pfund series
In this series, the spectrum line corresponds to the transition of electron form some higher energy level to
lower energy level (nf=5)Wave number=11

= R[1521ni21521ni2] , n =5,6,7....

Pfund series is found in far infrared region of spectrum.

Spectral Evidence for Quantization Bohr Theory


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1. When electron jumps from lower energy level to higher energy level, it absorbs relevant amount
of energy and this results in the absorption spectrum.
2. When an electron drops to higher level from lower level, it emits some amount of energy and
emission spectrum is observed.
3. Since there is only one electron in hydrogen atom, there should be one line in hydrogen
spectrum. But in Bohr theory, there are infinite number of orbits, so more than one line is
observed in spectrum.

Objection of Bohr Model


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1. Bohr model could not explain those atoms which have more than one electron like lithium, helium.
This model was applicable only for those atoms which have one electron.
2. Bohr theory explained only spherical orbits. There was no explanation for elliptical orbits.
3. This model failed to explain Zeeman Effect and stark effect.
4. Bohr model could not explain the uncertainty principle of Heisenberg.
5. Bohr model was not related with classification and periodicity of elements.
6. By using Bohr atomic model, one cant explain the intensity of spectrum line.

7. Austrian physicist Erwin Schrdinger (1887-1961) developed an


Electron Cloud Model in 1926. It consisted of a dense nucleus
surrounded by a cloud of electrons at various levels in orbitals.
Schrdinger and Werner Heisenburg(1901-1976) mathematically
determined regions in which electrons would be most likely found. The
probability of the finding the electrons in the orbitals are sometimes
referred to as lobes. They used the mathematical equations for the
behavior of waves following the work on waves by Louis de
Broglie (1892-1987) a French theorist.

Electron
"cloud"

8. It is still impossible to see a single atom, even with the


worlds best microscopes, but we can see images of groups
of atoms, and the trails that they leave. Starting in the
1950s, experiments using the newly invented particle
accelerators and particle detectors opened up a new age of
particle physics. Through the last half century individual
particles were identified by teams of researchers in only
certain facilities around the world. Fermilab in
Illinois, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in
California, Brookhaven in New York, CERN the European
Laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, and DESY in
Hamburg ,Germany will continue to refine the individual
particles with every experiment. They are still working on
discovering particles that will fully prove a Standard Model,
which not only explains how atoms work, but how atoms are
part of a Unifying Theory. We will visit this again in later
chapters.
Erwin Schrdinger

Born: 12 August 1887, Vienna, Austria


Died: 4 January 1961, Vienna, Austria
Affiliation at the time of the award:Berlin University, Berlin, Germany
Prize motivation: "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory"
Field: quantum mechanics
Prize share: 1/2

Work
In Niels Bohr's theory of the atom, electrons absorb and emit radiation of fixed wavelengths when
jumping between fixed orbits around a nucleus. The theory provided a good description of the
spectrum created by the hydrogen atom, but needed to be developed to suit more complicated atoms
and molecules. Assuming that matter (e.g., electrons) could be regarded as both particles and waves,
in 1926 Erwin Schrdinger formulated a wave equation that accurately calculated the energy levels of
electrons in atoms.

SCHRODINGER'S ATOMIC THEORY

Defined an orbital of an atom as: The region of space that surrounds a nucleus in
which two electrons may randomly move. (which is the Quantum Model of
Electrons)
Schrodinger said that all matter acts as waves, and electrons themselves were
wavelike.
He said that electrons were constantly moving and didnt have one definite or fixed
position in the atom.
Although, he said that the electrons were given probable regions which were
Atomic Orbitals
Atomic Orbitals are sorted with energy levels and distributed between electron
clouds.
Four primary orbitals: s, p, d, and f orbitals
Erwin Schrodinger took the ideas developed by de Broglie
Schrodinger was correct about his atomic theory. Electrons are constantly moving
and cannot be given a definite position within the atom. They are given probable
regions and are called Atomic Orbitals. They orbit the nucleus in the same pattern
every time, like the planets orbit the sun.

Erwin Schrodinger - 1926

Erwin Schrodinger

Erwin Schrodinger, 12 August 1887 4 January 1961, is well known for the Schrodinger Equation which
he received a Nobel Prize in Physics for in 1933. The Schrodinger Equation is "the wave equation of non
relativistic quantum mechanics". He showed, through math, that waves can be used to describe electrons
in atoms.

He also built off of Bohr's model of the atom with the Electron Cloud
Model. This model depicts the floating motion of the electrons, rather then them having a set path of
travel. He determined the probability location of electrons in atoms. According to Schrodinger, electrons
stuck in their orbits would set up "standing waves". He said that you could describe only the probability of
where an electron could be, it was not definite. The distributions of these probabilities formed areas of
space about the nucleus were called orbitals. An orbital is a wave function describing the state of a single
electron in an atom.

Quantum Mechanical Model

Werner Heisenberg - 1927

Born: December 5th, 1901in Germany

Worked with Niels Bohr at the University of Copenhagen


"Uncertainty principle"

It is not possible to obtain precise values of both position and momentum of a particle at the same
time

"Cloud" model aka quantum mechanical model


He determined that the only way to describe the location of an electron in an atom is through
probability distribution. This principle of his forms the basis of the electron cloud model.

The crystal lattice of sodium chloride shows the sodium and


chloride ions in a 1:1 ratio.

A chemist thinks of table salt as sodium and chloride ions arranged in a crystal lattice
structure. Image credit: "Image of salt" by OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology, CC-BYNC-SA 4.0.

The law of constant composition says that a pure


compound will always have the same proportion of the same
elements. For example, table salt, which has the molecular
formula \text{NaCl}NaClN, a, C, l, contains the same
proportions of the elements sodium and chlorine no matter
how much salt you have or where the salt came from. If we
were to combine some sodium metal and chlorine gaswhich
I wouldn't recommend doing at homewe could make more
table salt which will have the same composition.
Concept check: A time-travelling scientist from the early
1700s decides to run the following experiment: he takes a 10
gram sample of ethanol (\text{CH}_3 \text{CH}_2 \text
{OH}CH3CH2OHC, H, start subscript, 3, end subscript, C,
H, start subscript, 2, end subscript, O, H) and burns it in the
presence of oxygen in an open beaker. After the reaction is
done, the beaker is empty. Does this result violate the law of
conservation of mass?
[Show answer]

\text{CO}_2(g)C, O, start subscript, 2, end subscript, left


parenthesis, g, right parenthesis\text H_2 \text O(g)H,
start subscript, 2, end subscript, O, left parenthesis, g, right
parenthesis

Dalton's atomic theory

Part 1: All matter is made of atoms.


Dalton hypothesized that the law of conservation of mass and
the law of definite proportions could be explained using the
idea of atoms. He proposed that all matter is made of tiny
indivisible particles called atoms, which he imagined as
"solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particle(s)".
It is important to note that since Dalton did not have the
necessary instruments to see or otherwise experiment on
individual atoms, he did not have any insight into whether
they might have any internal structure. We might visualize
Dalton's atom as a piece in a molecular modeling kit, where
different elements are spheres of different sizes and colors.
While this is a handy model for some applications, we now
know that atoms are far from being solid spheres.

Part 2: All atoms of a given element


are identical in mass and properties.
Dalton proposed that every single atom of an element, such
as gold, is the same as every other atom of that element. He
also noted that the atoms of one element differ from the
atoms of all other elements. Today, we still know this to be
mostly true. A sodium atom is different from a carbon atom.
Elements may share some similar boiling points, melting
points, and electronegativities, but no two elements have the
same exact set of properties.
[Why is this only MOSTLY true?]

Picture of a molecular modeling kit including multiple types of


plastic spheres in different colors that represent elements and
stick-like plastic "bonds".
A basic molecular modeling kit, including spherical atoms of different size and color that
can be connected by sticks to represent chemical bonds. Image credit: "Photo of
modeling kit" by Sonia on Wikimedia Commons,CC-BY 3.0

Part 3: Compounds are combinations


of two or more different types of
atoms.
In the third part of Dalton's atomic theory, he proposed that
compounds are combinations of two or more different types
of atoms. An example of such a compound is table salt. Table
salt is a combination of two separate elements with unique
physical and chemical properties. The first, sodium, is a
highly reactive metal. The second, chlorine, is a toxic gas.
When they react, the atoms combine in a 1:1 ratio to form
white crystals of \text{NaCl}NaClN, a, C, l, which we can
sprinkle on our food.
Since atoms are indivisible, they will always combine in
simple whole number ratios. Therefore, it would not make
sense to write a formula such
as\text{Na}_{0.5}\text{Cl}_{0.5}Na0.5Cl0.5N, a, start
subscript, 0, point, 5, end subscript, C, l, start subscript, 0,
point, 5, end subscript because you can't have half of an
atom!

Part 4: A chemical reaction is a


rearrangement of atoms.
In the fourth and final part of Dalton's atomic theory, he
suggested that chemical reactions don't destroy or create
atoms. They merely rearranged the atoms. Using our salt
example again, when sodium combines with chlorine to make
salt, both the sodium and chlorine atoms still exist. They
simply rearrange to form a new compound.

What have we learned since Dalton


proposed his theory?
The short answer: a lot! For instance, we now know that
atoms are not indivisibleas stated in part onebecause
they are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. The
modern picture of an atom is very different from Dalton's
"solid, massy" particle. In fact, experiments by Ernest
Rutherford, Hans Geiger, and Ernest Marsden showed that
atoms are mostly made up of empty space.

Image of tungsten diselenide,\text{WSe}_2WSe2W, S, e,


start subscript, 2, end subscript.
Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) allows us to see the atomic level
structure of tungsten selenide, WSe_22start subscript, 2, end subscript. Image
credit: "STEM image" by Kazu Suenaga et al. on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0

Part two of Dalton's theory had to be modified after mass


spectrometry experiments demonstrated that atoms of the
same element can have different masses because the
number of neutrons can vary for different isotopes of the
same element. For more on isotopes, you can watch this
video on atomic number, mass number, and isotopes.
Despite these caveats, Dalton's atomic theory is still mostly
true, and it forms the framework of modern chemistry.
Scientists have even developed the technology to see the
world on an atomic level!
[Attributions and references]

1.
2.

Summary

Dalton's atomic theory was the first complete attempt to

describe all matter in terms of atoms and their properties.

Dalton based his theory on the law of conservation of


mass and the law of constant composition.

The first part of his theory states that all matter is made
of atoms, which are indivisible.

The second part of the theory says all atoms of a given


element are identical in mass and properties.

The third part says compounds are combinations of two


or more different types of atoms.

The fourth part of the theory states that a chemical


reaction is a rearrangement of atoms.

Parts of the theory had to be modified based on the


existence of subatomic particles and isotopes.
9. Austrian physicist Erwin Schrdinger (1887-1961) developed an
Electron Cloud Model in 1926. It consisted of a dense nucleus
surrounded by a cloud of electrons at various levels in orbitals.
Schrdinger and Werner Heisenburg(1901-1976) mathematically
determined regions in which electrons would be most likely found. The
probability of the finding the electrons in the orbitals are sometimes
referred to as lobes. They used the mathematical equations for the
behavior of waves following the work on waves by Louis de
Broglie (1892-1987) a French theorist.
10.It is still impossible to see a single atom, even with the
worlds best microscopes, but we can see images of groups
of atoms, and the trails that they leave. Starting in the
1950s, experiments using the newly invented particle
accelerators and particle detectors opened up a new age of
particle physics. Through the last half century individual
particles were identified by teams of researchers in only
certain facilities around the world. Fermilab in
Illinois, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in
California, Brookhaven in New York, CERN the European
Laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, and DESY in
Hamburg ,Germany will continue to refine the individual
particles with every experiment. They are still working on
discovering particles that will fully prove a Standard Model,
which not only explains how atoms work, but how atoms are
part of a Unifying Theory. We will visit this again in later
chapters.
Electron
"cloud"

Erwin Schrdinger
Born: 12 August 1887, Vienna, Austria

Died: 4 January 1961, Vienna, Austria


Affiliation at the time of the award:Berlin University, Berlin, Germany
Prize motivation: "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory"
Field: quantum mechanics

Prize share: 1/2

Work
In Niels Bohr's theory of the atom, electrons absorb and emit radiation of fixed wavelengths when
jumping between fixed orbits around a nucleus. The theory provided a good description of the
spectrum created by the hydrogen atom, but needed to be developed to suit more complicated atoms
and molecules. Assuming that matter (e.g., electrons) could be regarded as both particles and waves,
in 1926 Erwin Schrdinger formulated a wave equation that accurately calculated the energy levels of
electrons in atoms.

SCHRODINGER'S ATOMIC THEORY

Defined an orbital of an atom as: The region of space that surrounds a nucleus in
which two electrons may randomly move. (which is the Quantum Model of
Electrons)
Schrodinger said that all matter acts as waves, and electrons themselves were
wavelike.
He said that electrons were constantly moving and didnt have one definite or fixed
position in the atom.
Although, he said that the electrons were given probable regions which were
Atomic Orbitals
Atomic Orbitals are sorted with energy levels and distributed between electron
clouds.
Four primary orbitals: s, p, d, and f orbitals
Erwin Schrodinger took the ideas developed by de Broglie
Schrodinger was correct about his atomic theory. Electrons are constantly moving
and cannot be given a definite position within the atom. They are given probable
regions and are called Atomic Orbitals. They orbit the nucleus in the same pattern
every time, like the planets orbit the sun.

Erwin Schrodinger - 1926

Erwin Schrodinger

Erwin Schrodinger, 12 August 1887 4 January 1961, is well known for the Schrodinger Equation which
he received a Nobel Prize in Physics for in 1933. The Schrodinger Equation is "the wave equation of non
relativistic quantum mechanics". He showed, through math, that waves can be used to describe electrons
in atoms.

He also built off of Bohr's model of the atom with the Electron Cloud
Model. This model depicts the floating motion of the electrons, rather then them having a set path of
travel. He determined the probability location of electrons in atoms. According to Schrodinger, electrons
stuck in their orbits would set up "standing waves". He said that you could describe only the probability of
where an electron could be, it was not definite. The distributions of these probabilities formed areas of
space about the nucleus were called orbitals. An orbital is a wave function describing the state of a single
electron in an atom.

Quantum Mechanical Model

Werner Heisenberg - 1927

Born: December 5th, 1901in Germany

Worked with Niels Bohr at the University of Copenhagen


"Uncertainty principle"
It is not possible to obtain precise values of both position and momentum of a particle at the same
time

"Cloud" model aka quantum mechanical model

He determined that the only way to describe the location of an electron in an atom is through
probability distribution. This principle of his forms the basis of the electron cloud model.

Werner Heisenberg

Werner was born on December 5, 1901 in Wrzburg,Germany. Unfortunately,


hepassed away on February 1, 1976 of cancer. He attended the University of
Munich, in Germany, to study physics. Using his knowledge, he created matrix
mechanics, the first version of quantum mechanics in 1925. After leaving the
University of Munich in 1923, he ventured to Gottingen with Max Born to study, then
to the Institute of Theoretical Physics in
Copenhagen with Niels Bohr.
He mainly studied physics, and was
actually appointed the Professor of
Physics at the University of Munich in
1958. Werner soon became interested in
plasma physics, atomic physics, and
thermonuclear processes.
One of his most memorable discoveries is
the Uncertainty Principle. He said this
means that electrons do NOT travel in neat
orbits. Also, all electrons that
containphotons will then change
momentum and physics.
Werner's contribution to the atomic theory
was that he calculated the behavior of
electrons, and subatomic particles that
also make up an atom. Instead of focusing
mainly on scientific terms, this idea brought mathematics more into understanding
thepatterns of an atom's electrons. Werner's discovery helped clarify the modern
view of the atom because scientists can compare the actually few numbers of atoms
there are, by their movements of electrons, and how many electrons an atom
contains. Surrounding the outside of an atomic nucleus is an electron cloud, which
is a name given to the electrons that are widely spreading and moving around. In
conclusion, Werner Heisenberg contributed to the atomic theory by
including quantum mechanics, the branch of mechanics, based on quantum
theory, used for interpretating the behavior of elementary particles and atoms.

This model shows a less comlex version of what an atom looks like. Werner noticed behaviors in the
electrons that make them alike, and also looked at the path in which they orbit the atomic nucleus.

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