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Last updated date: 29th Nov 2023
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MVSAT Dec 2023

Describe Rutherford’s atomic model and also explain its drawbacks.

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Hint :In order to answer this question, first we will explain or go through the whole process or concept of Rutherford’s Atomic Model and then we will explain the drawbacks of the model in a few points.

Complete Step By Step Answer:
The Rutherford model, also known as the Rutherford atomic model, nuclear atom, or planetary model of the atom, is a description of atom structure proposed by Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand-born physicist, in 1911. The model depicted the atom as a small, dense, positively charged centre called a nucleus, in which nearly all of the mass is concentrated, and around which the light, negative constituents known as electrons circulate at a distance, similar to planets spinning around the Sun.
To account for the scattering of alpha particles from thin gold foil observed in a series of experiments conducted by undergraduate Ernest Marsden under the direction of Rutherford and German physicist Hans Geiger in 1909, the nucleus was proposed as small and dense. Inside a protective lead shield, a radioactive source emitting alpha particles (positively charged particles similar to the helium atom nucleus and 7,000 times more massive than electrons) was contained. After passing through a slit in a lead screen, the radiation was directed through a narrow beam. To detect alpha particles, a thin section of gold foil was put in front of the slit, and a screen coated with zinc sulphide to make it fluorescent acted as a counter. Each alpha particle created a scintillation when it hit the fluorescent screen, which was visible through a viewing microscope attached to the back of the screen. Rutherford and his colleagues were able to move the projector around and see if any alpha particles were being deflected by the gold foil.
Drawbacks of Rutherford’s Atomic Model:-
$*$ This atomic model failed to explain stability of atoms.
$*$ According to the model, electrons revolve around the positively charged nucleus. It's not possible for a long run as we...
$*$ This model of atom also failed to explain the existence of definite lines in the hydrogen spectrum.

Note :
Positively charged particles and the majority of an atom's mass is concentrated in a very small amount. This part of the atom was dubbed a nucleus by him. The Rutherford model suggested that the nucleus of an atom is surrounded by negatively charged electrons.