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The History of the Atom (Atomic Theory Timeline)
Transcript of The History of the Atom (Atomic Theory Timeline)
Rutherford experimented with gold foil and alpha particles, and discovered that atoms have a dense central region with a positive charge- the nucleus. He also discovered alpha, beta, and gamma rays in radiation.
Lavoisier heated mercury in a swan-necked tube and observed the formation of red oxide powder on the surface of the charcoal that was used for heating. After weighing separate pieces of his set-up, he deduced that when a substance burns in air, it combines with the oxygen around it. Therefore, the product of the combustion is heavier than the original substance.
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac
Gay-Lussac introduced "Gay-Lussac's Law", that states that gases at a constant temperature and pressure combine in proportions by volume, and the resulting product also bears a proportion by volume.
Glen T. Seaborg
Seaborg was an American chemist who isolated, discovered, synthesized, and investigated ten transuranium elements.
The History of the Atom:
An Atomic Theory Timeline
Einstein, upon examining the photoelectric effect in relation to the wave theory of light, suggested that light has an alternate particle nature.
Dalton proposed the first atomic theory. His theory included these ideas:
All matter is made of indestructible atoms
Atoms of the same element are the same.
Atoms of different atoms are different.
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle states that it is impossible to know the momentum and the position of an electron at the same time.
Chadwick discovered neutrons. His discovery opened the door to the modern knowledge of neutrally charged neutrons and positively charged protons being located in the nucleus of an atom.
DeBroglie stated that if waves can behave like particles, then particles can behave like waves. He established the Wave Particle Duality of Light.
Schrodinger's Wave Equation is used to determine the probable location of the electron in an atom.
Schrodinger also made the quantum model of the atom.
Avogadro hypothesized that equal volumes of different gases contain an equal number of molecules if they have the same temperature and pressure.
Millikan completed experiments to prove Einstein's photoelectric equation. He also made a direct photoelectric determination of Planck's constant "h" in 1915.
Bohr improved the atomic model by basing a new model off of Max Planck's Quantum Theory. His new model explained that:
Electrons travel in definite energy levels without radiating energy.
Electrons in each orbit have certain amounts of energy.
Energy increases as the distance from the nucleus increases.
Electrons lose energy only by dropping to a lower energy level.
Moseley studied Mendeleev's Periodic Table and concluded that atomic mass was not actually significant in the periodic law, and that arranging elements in increasing order of atomic number was a way to "fix" Mendeleev's previous table.
Marie and Pierre Curie
The Curies worked to form pioneering studies in radioactivity. Their work led to the discovery and understanding of radium and polonium.
In Thomson's many cathode-ray tube experiments, he discovered the electron in 1897. Using this new discovery, he created a "plum pudding" model of the atom that included negatively charged electrons surrounded by positive charge"pudding".
In his studies of newly discovered x-rays, Becquerel accidentally discovered a much different kind of emission. He had discovered radioactivity.
French chemist Joseph Proust discovered the Law of Constant Composition, which states that matter is neither created nor destroyed, only transferred.
Democritus proposed the first idea of the atom. He stated that all matter is made up of these small indestructible units which he called "atomas", meaning "uncuttable".
Planck proposed Quantum Theory after studying light and heat. Quantum theory describes the particle nature of light, which was first suggested by Albert Einstein.
At the Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago, Gell-Mann developed the strangeness theory, which explains unique decay patterns, and the eightfold way theory, which provides a manner on how to classify strongly interacting particles into arrangements of families.
Societal Issue About the Atom
New Atomic Structure Discoveries
In 2010, European researchers discovered that the radius of the proton may actually be about four percent smaller than previously established. This discovery challenges certain aspects of the Quantum Theory; therefore, it may have to be revised upon examination of further proof. This would signal a large change for much of scientific knowledge about the atom. The entire modern atomic structure, not just the size of the proton in the model, may have to be severely reviewed and changed.
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Development of the Atomic Theory
Around 430 B.C., Greek philosopher Democritus discovered that all matter in the universe is made up of miniscule units that he called "atomas". Amazingly, his theory of the "atoma" lasted centuries. Then, in the 18th Century, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier reintroduced the idea of the atom with his work regarding the chemical makeup of atoms. Joseph Proust then discovered the Law of Constant Composition, stating that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. In 1803, John Dalton was the first to actually construct a modeled theory of the atom. With Dalton's model, scientists such as Gay-Lussac and Avogadro discovered more information regarding the ratios of experiment components and products of chemical reactions. Later, Becquerel studied past discoveries, and accidentally discovered radioactivity. With his discovery, Marie and Pierre Curie worked to understand more about radioactive elements and atoms. Meanwhile, Thomson was using cathode-ray tubes to experiment with charges in the atom. He discovered the electron, and created a "plum pudding" model of the atom. This atom model was accepted while scientists began to question their beliefs concerning light. Einstein concluded that light was not only a wave, but could also be a particle. Based on this deduction, Planck proposed Quantum Theory. Then, Millikan proved Einstein's photoelectric equation and determined Planck's constant. Rutherford did further studies in radioactivity, and discovered alpha, beta, and gamma rays. More importantly, however, he discovered that atoms have a central nucleus. Bohr then constructed the Bohr model with this information. DeBroglie expanded on Einstein's studies by introducing the Wave Particle Duality of Light. Heisenberg introduced his Uncertainty Principle. After, Schrodinger established the Wave Equation, and then created a quantum model of the atom. Finally, Chadwick discovered the neutron. An idea from ancient times has developed into a well-established theory. Work from many scientists over many years with many experiments using many materials have all come together to form the modern atomic structure. Just as centuries of work has combined to give us modern information, work done in our time can impact the future as well. Science is never constant, and discoveries are being made everyday. Scientific endeavors from the past have given us our modern knowledge. Our scientific endeavors today can make a brighter world tomorrow. Ideas are constantly being introduced, and knowledge is changing all the time. Their is so much to learn, and their is still a world full of unknowns. Past generations have given us our today; therefore, we must work to give to the future.
On March 11, 2011, Fukushima, Japan, was struck by tragedy. The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, causing a catastrophic scene. Reactors throughout the plant failed to withstand damage from the weather conditions, causing a shocking explosion. This Level 7 accident release radiation all throughout Okuma, Fukushima, Japan. More than 4 years later, Japan is trying its hand at nuclear power again. Though stricter regulations have been placed on Japan's surviving nuclear plants, some citizens still have their concerns. The use of atomic elements and reactivity to create nuclear power is increasing the fear of those that live around these power plants. Some believe that an "unforeseeable" event may occur despite these new regulations. The fear of increased use of atomic resources leading to increased risks is apparent. The writer of this article claims that Japan should not be moving forward with the use of its nuclear reactors. He believes that regulators are not paying enough attention to the possibility of another occurrence of an "unforeseeable event. I agree that the Japanese government should better consider past events in order to make decisions about the future. The topic of nuclear reactors and power plants has been brought up repeatedly in the media recently. The choices that governments make regarding the installation and procedures of nuclear plants greatly impact the entire world. People, their land, their homes, and their loved ones rely greatly on their leaders to make educated choices that are the best for their health, happiness, and safety. In turn, regulators must not abuse this trust, and must consider all aspects and risks of current nuclear technologies to prevent accidents and keep science and the world moving forward.