Limitations of Rutherford’s Atomic Model

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Rutherford’s Atomic Model-


Before you go through this article, make sure that you have gone through the previous article on Rutherford’s Atomic Model.


We have discussed-

  • Rutherford’s Atomic Model gave an important insight of an atom.
  • It led to the discovery of nucleus and therefore popularly called the nuclear model of an atom.


In this article, we will discuss the limitations of Rutherford’s Atomic Model.


Limitations of Rutherford’s Atomic Model-


Though Rutherford’s Atomic Model gave an important insight of an atom, yet it had the following shortcomings-




According to Maxwell electromagnetic theory, an accelerated charged particle must radiate electromagnetic energy.

An electron revolving around the nucleus is under continuous acceleration towards the center. So, it should continuously lose energy and move in orbits of gradually decreasing radii. The electron should follow a spiral path and finally it should collapse into the nucleus. Thus, the Rutherford’s model can not explain the stability of an atom.





As the electrons spiral inwards, their angular velocities and frequencies would change continuously and so the frequency of emitted light will also change. They would emit a continuous spectrum instead of the actually observed line spectrum.


Read the next article on-

Bohr’s Atomic Model


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