The atomic theory has been revised over time. J.J. Thompson described the atom as having a mix of positive and negative charges randomly scattered throughout a sphere of space. Rutherford’s experiments proved this model incorrect and developed the model with a tiny positively charged nucleus. Today, the model is more complex explaining a cloud of electrons around a nucleus of protons and neutrons. Why has the atomic theory changed during the last several hundred years?
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The splitting of the first atom created the need for a new model.
Modern scientific methods are more reliable in developing theories.
The atom has changed over time and the model reflects those changes.
As new discoveries are made, existing theories are revised or replaced.