What Is the World Made Of?


Are there problems with Rutherford’s model?

Electrons moving in circular orbits are experiencing centripetal acceleration. All accelerating charges radiate energy. As a result the electrons in Rutherford’s atom would lose all their energy in a tiny fraction of a second. How then could atoms last billions of years? Rutherford offered no answer. In addition, as the electron spiraled into the nucleus it would create a smear of all colors of light, but hydrogen was known to produced only specific colors, called an emission-line spectrum.


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