Comparing and Contrasting the Atomic Models

The model of the atom has changed and progressed throughout history. From Dalton to Schrodinger, each model improved upon the previous one as new discoveries were made. The five main atomic models are Dalton’s model, Thompson’s model, Rutherford’s model, Bohr’s model, and Schrodinger’s model. They all differ from eachother in some way, but they do have similarities.

Dalton's_Model.jpg
Dalton’s Model

Similarities

  • There is one thing that all five of the models hold in common: their spherical shape. Whether the model has protons, neutrons and electrons, or no subatomic particles at all, they are all shaped like a sphere.
  • Excluding Dalton’s model, all of the models have electrons.
    thomsons_model.gif
    Thomson’s Model
  • Rutherford’s, Bohr’s, and Schrodinger’s models all contain a nucleus that is located in the center of the atom with the electrons located in the space around the nucleus.
  • Rutherford’s, Bohr’s, and Schrodinger’s models all contain protons in their nucleus.
  • Rutherford’s and Bohr’s models have electrons orbiting in specific paths around the nucleus.
    rutherfords_model.jpg
    Rutherford’s Model

Differences

  • Dalton’s model differs from all the others by the fact that it has no subatomic parts. His model proposes that the atom is a solid sphere; that it has no protons, neutrons, or electrons.
    Bohrs_model.jpg
    Bohr’s Model

  • Although Thomson’s model does contain electrons, it is different from the others because of the electrons placement and the fact that it has no nucleus. In Rutherford’s, Bohr’s and Schrodinger’s models there is a nucleus and the electrons are in the space around the nuclus while Thomson’s model proposes that the atom is a sphere of positively charged matter in which electrons are dispersed throughout.
    schrodingers_model.jpg
    Schrodinger’s Model

  • Rutherford’s, Bohr’s, and Schrodinger’s models all have a nucleus, but otherwise they are very different. Rutherford’s and Bohr’s models have protons in their nucleus, but do not contain neutrons. Schrodinger’s model has both protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
  • While Rutherford’s and Bohr’s models have electrons circling the nucleus in orbits, Schrodinger’s model has an “electron cloud” in which the electrons circle the nucleus in certain areas based on probabilities rather than specific orbits.

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