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John Rutherford's Contribution To The Atomic Theory

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Rutherford’s Impact on the Atomic Theory Rutherford had the most important contribution to the Atomic Theory because of his discoveries of the nucleus and protons, and his contribution to nuclear chemistry. Rutherford’s discovery of the nucleus and proton are very important to the atomic theory because they are most of an atom 's weight and protons define what type of element an atom is. His discovery of alpha and beta rays are important to chemistry because that is the foundation of radioactive decay. Before we begin, here is some background on the atomic theory. In 400 B.C. Democritus claimed that atoms are a single material formed into varied shapes and sizes. John Dalton found that atoms of different elements are different and ones of the same…show more content…
The discovery of the nucleus helped him find that atoms are mostly a bunch of empty space. He measured the nucleus by measuring the angles of scattering and using mathematical modelling found that the nucleus is less than 10-14m in diameter. Most important, he discovered the proton because of that. He came to the conclusion that, “The alpha particles were being scattered by a large amount of positive charge concentrated in a very small space at the center of the gold atom” (Tretkoff, Ernie). This discovery is so important because protons are what define what element an atom is. Bohr also used that discovery to find that electrons travel in orbits around the nucleus. Rutherford’s model is called the “solar system model” because in his model because the electrons orbit the nucleus almost like they are like planets orbiting the sun. Rutherford paved the way for the modern model of the atom. He also theorized the existence of the neutron which later was confirmed by James Chadwick in 1932. Though he was wrong about the atom being held together by electromagnetic force, his theory led to the discovery of the strong
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