Six scientists were chosen to see which one had made the greatest contribution to our current understanding of the atom’s structure. Our knowledge of an atom’s appearance and structure have evolved from years and years of development and contribution from many different scientists. Scientist Ernest Rutherford had been the best contributor to the understanding of the atomic structure.
Why Rutherford was chosen is because his work had information on protons, neutrons, and electrons, the main components that make up the atom, showed what the atom looks like when the three are put together, and had also been the discoverer of the nucleus which is the one of them most important parts of the atom’s structure. The discovery of the particles that make up the atom was vital to the understanding of the atomic structure because the particles made up the atom. The protons, neutrons, and electrons are the components of the atom’s structure.
Rutherford had learned from his teacher J. J. Thomson. Thomson had been the discoverer of the electrons when he saw that the atom needed both positive and negative charges in equal number so that the atom does not become an ion. He showed Rutherford that there were protons and electrons in the atom. Rutherford’s partner, James Chadwick, discovered neutrons while the two were studying why the atomic number was less than the atomic mass. So with the discovery of electrons and neutrons Rutherford puts the three together and became the first to create an atomic model that had all three components that made the atom.
When Rutherford put together the protons, neutrons, and electrons into one model he had to put it together in a certain structure. The certain structure is the protons and neutrons go into the middle nucleus and the electrons go into an orbit around the nucleus. Rutherford had designed the model showing the atom with the nucleus and orbits after his experiment the Gold Foil experiment. This experiment was used to test the accuracy and reliability of JJ Thomson’s Plum Pudding model. During the experiment Rutherford shot a beam of alpha particles at a thin sheet of gold foil.
The foil was surrounded with a screen so that the alpha particles could show on the screen when passing through the foil. To Rutherford’s surprise some particles were bounced back instead of passing completely through the foil. If Thomson was correct the particles should have all made it through the foil without any bouncing back. As a result Rutherford came to several conclusions: The plum pudding model was not correct, the atom has a center positive core (the nucleus), the atom was more than empty space and floating electrons.
Rutherford knew that there was the nucleus with a positive charge in the atoms because the alpha particles were deflected. Alpha particles are also positively charged and since the same charges repel one another there had to be a concentration of positive particles that repelled the alpha particles. Rutherford then saw that the electrons go in an orbit around the nucleus similar to how the planets would go around the sun. Once Rutherford put it all together we receive the image of the atom we see today.
The number one reason why Rutherford was chosen as the best contributor is that Rutherford discovered the nucleus. The nucleus is one of the most important part of the atom because it contains the two particles protons and neutrons. Rutherford was also the first scientist that made a model that contains all three particles. Some might say that since it wasn’t Rutherford that discovered the electron the credit should go to JJ Thomson. Also because Thomson was Rutherford’s teacher.
However Thomson could not be the best contributor. He had thought that the atom was one whole sphere with only two of the three particles. Others might say that it might be Niels Bohr and or Erwin Schrodinger. Bohr and Schrodinger both have models and ideas that incorporate all three particles. Their models also possess the nucleus and electrons orbiting it. In addition Bohr and Schrodinger had corrected Rutherford’s model by correcting the electron’s position and where we could potentially find the electron.
Despite that Bohr and Schrodinger had only been able to find their discoveries because they had Rutherford’s model as a base. So overall the number one reason Rutherford is the best contributor is because he discovered the nucleus and that everyone else did not. What we know about the atom’s structure today is that it is made of three particles. It has a nucleus made of protons and neutrons and has electrons orbiting the nucleus when all three are put together. We know this because scientist Ernest Rutherford had contributed his knowledge so we would know about the atomic structure.