Rutherford’s Model of the Atom

On an experimental basis, Ernest Rutherford proved in 1911 that J.J. Thomson’s so-called “plum-pudding model” was incorrect.
Rutherford’s alpha-particle Scattering Experiment
The key points or inferences drawn from Rutherford’s experiment, on which he based his model of the atom were as follows:
  • The atom is 99.9% empty space.
  • Most of the positive charge of the atom is concentrated in a tiny, dense volume at the center of the atom. This is known as the nucleus of the atom.
  • The nucleus is around 100,000 times smaller than the actual atom, and contains positively charged entities called protons, and neutral entities called neutrons
  • The negatively charged particles, electrons, are present in a cloud around the nucleus.
  • This model was also called the “planetary model of the atom” due to its analogy with the planetary system.

  1. According to Maxwell’s theory of electrodynamics, a charged particle under acceleration loses its energy. If this were to happen in Rutherford’s model, the electron would lose energy and hence its path would be am inward spiral: it would eventually collide with the nucleus. This however doesn’t actually happen.
  2. It could not explain the line spectra of hydrogen, or the discontinuous nature of its spectrum.

    One thought on “Rutherford’s Model of the Atom

    1. Pingback: Today – August 30 | Taking My Time

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s