Atomic Theory Essay

1032 words - 4 pages

*History of Atomic Theory- DemocritusThe theory of atoms began with a Greek philosopher called Democritus who lived in the 5th century BC. Democritus was not the first to develop an atomic theory but he produced a much more elaborate and systematic view of the physical world than his forerunners. He developed a theory of matter that wasn't based on evidence from experiments but on philosophical knowledge and ideas.Democritus claimed that space, or the Void existed. He envisioned that this Void was an infinite space in which moved an infinite number of atoms that made up the physical world. These atoms, he claimed were eternal and invisible; extremely small that their size could not be reduced; absolutely full and incompressible, as they have no pores and entirely fill the space they occupy; and homogeneous, the only difference being shape, arrangement, position and magnitude.Based on this theory of the physical world, Democritus could explain all the changes in the world as changes in motion of atoms, or changes in the way they were packed together. This theory tried to explain the whole of physics with only the basis of Democritus' philosophical ideas.*The Modern Atomic TheoryIn 1803, British chemist John Dalton developed the first useful atomic theory of matter, transforming Democritus' theory into a scientific theory. He unveiled some of the first clues about the true nature of atoms. Dalton studied how quantities of different elements, when combined make other substances. Eg hydrogen and oxygen makes water.The main ideas of Dalton's atomic theory are:1)All matter is made of atoms. Atoms are indivisible and indestructible.2)All atoms of a given element are identical in mass and properties.3)Compounds are formed by a combination of two or mire different kinds of atoms.4)A chemical reaction is a rearrangement of atoms.Dalton also thought that atoms were solid spheres, like a bunch of marbles all stacked together. This theory was modified first by J. J. Thomson. He discovered the electron, and realised that it was a part of the atom. Electrons are negatively charged bringing Thomson to believe that an atom was a positively charged ball with many negatively charged electrons attached to it.*Plum Pudding ModelThe plum pudding model was proposed by the discoverer of the electron, J. J. Thomson. This was proposed before the discovery of protons and neutrons. The electrons were thought to be positioned uniformly throughout the atom, just like plums in a bowl of pudding. The atom was also sometimes said to have had a cloud of positive charge. The model was modified by Ernest Rutherford's experiment on gold foil, when he discovered the nucleus of the atom, thus leading to the Rutherford model of the atom.*Rutherford ModelLord Ernest Rutehrford learned from the gold foil experiment that most of an atoms mass is found in a very small volume called the nucleus. In 1911 he proposed a model explaining that inside an atom all the protons are gathered at the...

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