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

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

The limitations of Rutherford’s model are – it failed to explain the stability of the atom, the arrangement of the electrons in the circular path was not explained and the revolving electron loses energy and falls into the nucleus. Rutherford’s model of the atom:

  • An atom’s positive charge and the majority of its mass are packed into a very small volume. The nucleus of the atom is what he referred to as.
  • The positively charged mass of particles that makes up the nucleus and the negatively charged electrons are held together by a strong electrostatic force of attraction.
  • The electrons that surround an atom’s nucleus are negatively charged, according to Rutherford’s theory. He also claimed that the electrons around the nucleus move at incredibly fast speeds in a circular pattern. He called these elliptical paths orbits.

Conclusions from the model:

  • A majority of an atom’s volume is empty.
  • The nucleus is the term for an atom’s core.
  • Positive charges take up the least amount of space.
  • The orbit of the electrons around the nucleus is circular.

Limitations of Rutherford’s model of the atom

  • His theory was unable to account for atoms’ stability.
  • There was no established method for organizing electrons along a circular path.
  • Any particle traveling in a circle would accelerate and release energy. The rotating electron would then lose energy and eventually collide with the nucleus.


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

Rutherford’s model has several flaws, including the inability to explain why atoms are stable, why electrons are arranged in a circular pattern, and why rotating electrons lose energy and fall toward the nucleus.

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