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Flaws with the Rutherford Atomic Model

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Anirudd Roy

on 25 August 2014

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Transcript of Flaws with the Rutherford Atomic Model

These 2 main flaws helped disprove Rutherford's Atomic model
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Flaws with the Rutherford Atomic Model
First flaw:
Now this model basically failed to explain why individual atoms produce discrete spectra of visible light. According to Rutherford’s model, electrons accelerate in orbit they should produce electromagnetic radiation w/ a wide range of frequencies, that basically means that individual atoms produce a continuous and complete light spectrum. However this was disproved by Niels Bohr when his experiments showed that they do not produce a continuous but only a discrete line spectra. Spectrum light in atoms is produced when the electrons in the atom are excited and move to a higher energy level or orbital, but when they reach back to their ground level the light is emitted.

Second Flaw:
According to Rutherford's model the electron accelerates around the nucleus, and that releases EM radiation in the form of light. This would therefore mean that the electron would lose kinetic energy and continually decrease in velocity. With simple geometry we can prove that with a decrease in Velocity the electrons would not be able to stay in constant orbit and would eventually crash into the nucleus, therefore implying that atoms are unstable. This cannot be true as the only reason I can stand and read this out is because I’m able to exist as a result of the stability of atoms.
What was this model?
Following his Gold Foil experiment, Rutherford proposed a “planetary model of the atom that aimed to describe the structure of the atom. In this model the atom consists of a tiny but concentrated region of positive charge, known as the nucleus, surrounding the nucleus are orbiting electrons which have a negative charge. His diagram did argue correctly that the atom is mostly empty space. He also said that 99.7% of the mass was found within the nucleus. Rutherford stated that the electrons stayed in orbit around the nucleus, the exact same way that our planets stay in orbit around the sun.
This model was disproved by just 2 major flaws
Unkown. "Rutherford's Experiment and Atomic Model." Rutherford's Experiment and Atomic Model. N.p., 13 Mar. 2011. Web. 24 Aug. 2014.
Unkown. "Rutherford-Bohr Model." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, 4 Sept. 2013. Web. 24 Aug. 2014.
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