The model states that the atom consists of a dense positive center called the nucleus and is orbited by negatively charged electrons.
The nuclear model of the atom was first proposed by New Zealand scientist Ernest Rutherford while working in England under J. J. Thomson.
Scientists have shown that the atom consists of three sub atomic particles, the proton, the neutron and the electron.
Each sub atomic particle has its own unique characteristics and properties as shown by the table below.
|Sub atomic particle||Found||Charge||Relative mass||Function or role|
|Proton||In the nucleus||Positive (+)||1800||Determines the identity of an element. Each element has an unique number of protons called the Atomic Number.|
|Neutron||In the nucleus||Neutral (0)||1801||Helps stabilize the nucleus|
|Electron||Orbiting the nucleus||Negative (-)||1||Outer electrons involved in chemical reactions|
The nuclear model of the atom describes the atom as consisting of a positively charge dense nucleus made up of protons and neutrons. Negatively charged electrons orbit the nucleus at a great distance from the nuclues. Most of the atom is made up of empty space.
In an neutral atom the number of postively charged protons is equal to the number of negatively charged electrons. An atom of carbon has 6 protons and 6 electrons. An atom of bromine has 35 protons and 35 electrons.