The Nuclear Atom (1904-1912)

  • Alan A. Grometstein


We have touched on light’s odd behavior in acting as if it were a particle when encountering matter but as if it were a wave when in flight. We have seen a comparable oddity in the behavior of electrons, and it has been suggested that other “particles” are equally odd. It is time to move to larger structures: in this chapter, we discuss models of the atom that were developed early in the 20th century. The details of the models are less important than the underlying concepts and the phenomena they were intended to explain. We are running beyond the limits of classical physics and will repeatedly find that classical explanations are inadequate. Novel explanations are required.


Impact Parameter Point Mass Alpha Particle Deflection Angle Gold Atom 
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  1. 1.
    In the invasion of England in 1066, the point man for William of Normandy was his knight Taillefer. Reciprocally, the invasion of the Continent from England in 1945 was led by a man named Eisenhower. “Taillefer” and “Eisenhower” each means “hewer of iron.”Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

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  • Alan A. Grometstein

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