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Atomic Structure & timeline

Atom is a basic unit of matter that is not indivisible & is composed

of many smaller subatomic particles. Atoms have three main
important subatomic particles that are proton, neutron & electron.
Proton & neutron have a much greater mass than the electron as
one proton equals to 1/1840 electrons. Neutrons & protons are
tightly bound together to form the nucleus of the atom hence
nucleus contains all the mass. Neutron is electrically neutral
where protons & electrons carry +ve & -ve charge respectively.
Electrons occupy shells around the nucleus whereas protons are
there in the nucleus as we know
Evolution of atoms: 1. Democritus was the first one to come up with the postulates
stating that everything is made of atoms, atoms are
indivisible & are solid & small particles & called them
atomos, this all happened between 460BC-370BC
2. The Dalton came up with his theory & research stating that
atoms cannot be created or destroyed in chemical reactions,
all atoms of the same element are perfectly identical & each
element has a different atom and a different atomic weight.
year 1766-1844
3. Then Thomson came with his Plum Pudding Model &
Discovered that atoms ARE divisible & Inferred that atoms
have a positive charge; Atoms have a much larger mass than
electrons & discovered electrons through his Cathode-Ray
experiment. year 1856-1940
4. Rutherford a well scientist of his time as we know who
conducted the gold foil experiment & stated that atoms are
mostly empty space. Electrons move rapidly in the empty
space around the nucleus & predicted the existence of
neutrons & discovered that most of an atoms mass is in its
nucleus which is small, dense positively charged. year 18711937

5. Bohr Stated that electrons can only travel at specific

distances from the nucleus, & stated that electrons can jump
between levels/paths around the nucleus & Stated that the
chemical properties of an element are determined by how
many electrons are in the outer shell. year 1885-1962
6. Chadwick- Discovered the previously unknown part of the
nucleus of an atom- the Neutron, Named the neutron
because of its lack of an electrical charge, His discovery
made it possible to create new elements in the laboratory
(heavier than Uranium) which was not possible before. Year
7. Electron cloud model - This is our most modern and accepted
model of the atom, It differs from Bohrs model because it
states that the electrons can be found in a general region
around the nucleus, not specific paths

1808: Daltons model of the atom was the billiard ball model. He
thought the atom was a solid, indivisible sphere. Atoms of each
element were identical in mass and their properties. Atoms of one
element differed from that of another atom.
1897: JJ Thomsons model of the atom was the plum pudding model.
He discovered the electron and believed that a massive positively
charged substance filled the atom. The electrons were arranged
within this substance.
1898: Ernest Rutherfords model of the atom was the nuclear model.
He directed particles at a thin sheet of gold foil. Most of the
particles passed through the foil but some were deflected at large
angles. These results could only be explained if all the positive charge
of the atom was concentrated in a tiny, massive central core called
the nucleus.
an atom is 10000 times larger than the nucleus. It is mostly
empty space.

1911: Neils Bohrs began work on the atom. There was an

inconsistency with the nuclear atom and classical theory. Rutherfords
model did not account for the lack of emission of radiation as
electrons move about the nucleus (at the rate an electron would lose
energy, it would spiral into the nucleus) and the emission of light at
only certain wavelengths (an accelerated electron should radiate
energy at all wavelengths).
Bohrs Postulates
- Electrons exist in circular orbits. It is the electrostatic force
that holds them in orbit rather than a gravitational force.
- Electrons only exist in allowed orbits. In each orbit there is a
total amount of energy so these orbits are described as energy
levels. This means that the energy of electrons in atoms is
- If an electron remains in orbit, it does not radiate energy.
- When electrons jump between orbits, they absorb or emit an
amount of energy that is equal to the difference in the energy