Atomic Theory Research Paper

1685 words - 7 pages

Of all of the many scientists who played a major role in the formation of the atomic theory, it is believed that Dalton, Rutherford, Thompson, Bohr, and Planck are the five most influential. The research of this theory has gone on for many years and each and every one of them have brought us closer to our current understanding of the atom today. Each one of them played a special role in the development process of the atom and most importantly, they all reflected on one another. Many influential scientists follow up on one another proving their own theories correct and in time, create challenges for the next scientist to question. This truly, is one of the main reasons we have gotten so far with the atom. These amazing discoveries mostly started taking effect when Dalton came into the picture.John Dalton (1766-1844), is one of the most influential scientists in the development of the atomic theory. Democritus first suggested the existence of the atom, but it took nearly two millennia before Dalton took the research into his own hands. Dalton's Atomic Theory consists of basic concepts based on the theory that atoms of different elements could be distinguished by differences in their weights. In this he concluded that, 1. All atoms are composed of elements. 2. The atoms of a given element are different from those of any other element. 3. Atoms cannot be created, divided into smaller pieces, or destroyed in the chemical process. 4. Atoms of one element can combine with atoms of other elements to form chemical compounds. 5. When elements react, their atoms sometimes combine in more than one simple, whole-number ratio (Senese, & De Leon). Dalton's model was also that atoms were tiny, indivisible, indestructible particles. Also in his model, he states that each atom has a certain size, mass, and chemical behavior. Unfortunately, John Dalton made a mistake in rationalizing the many laws of chemical combination. He assumed that the "simplest compound of two elements must be binary, formed from atoms of each element in a 1:1 ratio" (De Leon). His atomic weight system ended up a little inaccurate and he gave oxygen an atomic weight of seven instead of eight. Despite these errors, Dalton's theory remains to this day, the basic fundamentals of the atomic theory's countless developments.This next scientist made an atomic model called the Plum Pudding model. His name is J.J. Thompson and he created his model after the components of the atom were discovered in 1911. It was concluded that atoms were made up of subatomic particles called protons and electrons. Although that was discovered, there was no explanation as to how they were distributed among the atom. So, he demonstrated that cathode rays were units of electrical current made up of negatively charged particles. Thompson theorized his model of atomic structure in which negatively charged electrons were "embedded in a sphere of positive electricity, neutralizing each other" (Atomic Magic). Not only did...

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