What are the limitations of Rutherford,s model of the atom?

Rutherford’s experimented by bombarding a thin sheet of gold with α-particles and then studied the trajectory of these particles after their interaction with the gold foil.

Conclusions from the experiment

Listed below are the conclusions drawn from Rutherford’s experiment

  • Most of the space in an atom is empty
  • The space occupied by the positive charge is tiny
  • The positive charges and mass of the atom were concentrated in a minimal volume within the atom
  • The centre of the atom is called the nucleus
  • Electron spin around the nucleus in a circular path


Listed below are the limitations of Rutherford’s experiment

  • Rutherford’s model was inadequate to explain the stability of an atom.
  • It did not mention anything about the arrangement of an electron in orbit.
  • As per Rutherford’s model, electrons revolve around the nucleus in a circular path. But particles that are in motion on a circular path would undergo acceleration, and acceleration causes radiation of energy by charged particles. Eventually, electrons should lose energy and fall into the nucleus.

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