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Amandeep Soar

Word Count 492

Development of the Atom


Development of the Atom
The Greeks were the first people to have some idea about particles and
atoms, but they didnt fully understand the concept. It wasnt until the
19th Century that particles and atoms became linked through
experimental data. It was a man called John Dalton that spoke up about
his thoughts on atoms. In his experiments, Dalton proposed that these
atoms were like very petite beads and that each element was unique. He
believed that these atoms could reorganise themselves and chain
together with other atoms in a different way. Daltons theory is still used
today to help us understand compounds, elements and molecules.
Secondly, by the end of the 19th century, there was a discovery of the
electron. This was discovered by a scientist called J.J Thompson. He found
out that the electron was a small negatively charged particles which was
much smaller than any atom. To demonstrate this he conducted an
experiment which involved him passing high voltages to some gases at
low pressure. He concluded that the positive charges in the beam were
attracted to the negative charge electrons. Thompson proposed that
because of the electrons being so small that they must come from inside
the atom. Thompson described the electrons in the atom as being the
plum in a plum pudding. Meaning they must be inside the atom with the
protons which the electrons were attracted too.
Thirdly two men called Geiger & Ernst conducted an experiment using
radiation. This experiment involved those using positively charged
particles as bullets to shoot at the gold atom. This was done to find out
whether the particles would go straight through. They found out that
some bounced back, some went straight through and some went in the
opposite direction. By 1911 Ernst construed his results and came up with
a new model of the atom. He said that Thompsons theory was wrong.
This was because Ernst suggested that that protons must be concentrated
in a small volume in the nucleus, otherwise the alpha particles (electron)
which were being fired could never be repelled back. The new model
showed the electrons revolving around the dense nucleus.
Finally, the most important progress came around 1914 by a man called
Niels Bohr who studied the model of the atom. He advised that the
electrons must have been orbiting around the nucleus in certain energy
shells. The energy must be given out from a high energy level to a low.
Overall the philosophies of the nature of the atom have advanced over the
last 2 centuries and are still developing today.
To summarise John Dalton introduced a new method of the Ancient Greek
ideas at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Through 1877 J.J
Thompson discovered the electron by stating it to the plum pudding. In

Amandeep Soar

Word Count 492

1911 Rutherford proposed that electrons circle the nucleus like planets
around the sun. And finally by 1914 Bohr adapted Rutherfords model by
presenting the idea of energy shells.