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Development of the atomic model

Development of the atomic model

Major phases in the history of theories and views about the structure of the atom.

Chemistry

Keywords

atomic model, Democritus, Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford, Bohr, Sommerfeld, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, nucleus, electron cloud, atomic structure, proton, electron, neutron, elementary particles, atomos, excitation, spectrum, quantum mechanics, chemistry

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According to Democritus and his master, Leucippus, matter is made up of tiny, indivisible particles called atoms. According to their model, atoms exist eternally: they are neither destroyed, nor produced; they can be different in size and shape, and they might be connected through small hooks.

The peculiarities of atoms define the characteristics of different materials. For example, the roundish atoms with hooks shown in the animation have a bitter taste and they are sticky. Sweet materials are small and round. Therefore, they are able to infiltrate different materials, changing their taste.

Today we know that this naive atomic model is not correct; however, this theory is important in the history of science, because it marked the birth, in the 4th-5th centuries B.C., of the notion of the non-continuous, quantized nature of matter.

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