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Drawbacks of Rutherford's Model

The assumption that the electrons were orbiting around the nucleus was unfortunate. According to the classical electromagnetic theory, if a charged particle accelerates around oppositely charged particles, the former will radiate energy. If an electron radiates energy, its speed will decrease and it will go into spiral motion, finally falling into the nucleus. This does not happen as then the atom would be unstable which it is not. This was the chief weakness of Rutherford’s Atomic Model.

The Rutherford’s model explains the structure of atom in a very simple way. But, it suffers from the following drawbacks.

1. An electron revolving around the nucleus gets accelerated towards the nucleus. According to the electromagnetic theory, an accelerating charged particle must emit radiation, and lose energy. Because of this loss of energy, the electron would slow down, and will not be able to withstand the attraction of the nucleus. As a result, the electron should follow a spiral path, and ultimately fall into nucleus. If it happens then the atom should collapse in about 10-8 second. But, this does not happen: atoms are stable. This indicates that there is something wrong in the Rutherford’ mass nuclear model of atom.

2. The Rutherford’s model of atom does not say anything about the arrangement of electrons in an atom.

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