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By: Sania Khan

Daltons Atomic Theory (1803)

Everything is composed of atoms, which are indivisible
building blocks of matter and cannot be destroyed.
All atoms of an element are identical.
The atoms of different elements vary in size and mass.
Compounds are produced through different whole-number

combinations of atoms.

A chemical reaction results in the rearrangement of atoms in

the reactants and product compounds.

Brownian Motion (1827)

Discovered in 1827 by botanist Robert Brown
Randommotionof particles suspended in a fluid resulting from

their collision with the fast-moving atoms or molecules in the fluid.

He used a microscope to look at pollen grains moving randomly in

water. At this point, he could not explain why this occurred.

In 1905, physicistAlbert Einsteinexplained that the pollen grains

were being moved by individual water molecules.

Confirmed the existence of atoms and molecules. Also provided

evidence for the particle theory.

J. J Thomson (1897)
Introduced the plum pudding model.
Discovered the electron using the cathode ray. Passing an

electric current makes a beam appear to move from the

negative to the positive end.

He compared the value with the mass/ charge ratio for the

lightest charged particle.

By comparison, Thomson estimated that the cathode ray

particle weighed 1/1000 as much as hydrogen, the lightest




Anodes / collimators



Drift region

Ernest Rutherford (1907)

He fired a (alpha) particles at a very thin sample of

gold foil

According to the Thomson model the a particles

would only be slightly deflected

Rutherford discovered that they were deflected

through large angles and could even be reflected

straight back to the source.

Expectations: -particles would be deflected by the

sub-atomic particles in the gold atoms.

Since the -particles were much heavier than the

protons, he did not expect to see large deflections

Rutherfords Apparatus

beam of alpha particles


fluorescent screen
circular - ZnS coated
gold foil

Dorin, Demmin, Gabel, Chemistry The Study of Matter , 3rd Edition, 1990, page 120



Most particles were undeflected

Most of the space inside the atom is


A few particles were slightly deflected

Indicating that the positive charge of the

atom occupies very little space.

A few particles bounced back

Indicating that all the positive charge and

mass of the gold atom were concentrated
in a very small volume within the atom.

Problems with Rutherfords model

He could not explain why individual atoms

produce discrete spectra of visible light.

Electrons accelerate in orbit and thus should produce

electromagnetic radiation with a wide range of


The electron accelerates around the nucleus and

that it releases EM radiation.

The electron would lose KE and continually decrease in

velocity. Thus would eventually crash into the nucleus.

Implying that the atom is UNSTABLE.

Niels Bohr (1913)

A fixed positive nucleus and electrons travel around the nucleus in

definite orbitals.

Bohr explained how electrons could jump from one orbit to another

only by emitting or absorbing energy in fixed quanta.

The farther away from nucleus, the more energy the electron has.

Problems with Bohrs Model

Electron couldnt circle around nucleus like a planet because

it would lose energy and spiral into the nucleus.

It violates theHeisenberg Uncertainty Principlebecause it

considers electrons to have both aknown radiusand orbit.

Bohr was not able to explain electron orbits of large atom with

many electrons.

James Chadwick (1932)

Discovered the neutron.
Polonium released particles which would hit the beryllium target, this

released unknown radiation.

This radiation would hit the paraffin, this would release protons which

could be detected by the Geiger Counter.

This supposed radiation had no electrical charge. It also had

approximately the same mass as a proton.

He called this particle the neutron.

Importance of the discovery of the

Uncharged so could penetrate the nucleus without being repelled (like the
This helped build nuclear power, and nuclear weapons during the Second

World War.

Chadwick helped in the theory behind the first nuclear bombs, and used a

particle accelerator to show that it is possible to construct them with only a

few kilograms of uranium.