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Problems with the Rutherford model of the atom led to the

search for a model that would better explain the observed
Saturday, 23 October 2010
9:47 AM

1.1 discuss the structure of the Rutherford model of the atom, the existence of the nucleus and
electron orbits
Rutherford fired alpha particles at gold foil and found that most went through, some were
deflected nearly through 180 degrees
Indicated a small positive charge at centre, and negative electrons in orbits around the
positive nucleus
1.2 analyse the significance of the hydrogen spectrum in the development of Bohrs model of the
Rutherford's model could not explain the hydrogen spectrum
i.e. that when a gas is heated or an electric current is passed through it, it produces a line
Bohr's model explained it by stating electrons exist in stationary states and radiate energy
when they fall from a higher energy level to a lower one
1.3 define Bohrs postulates
Electrons exist in stationary states without radiating energy
When an electron falls from a higher energy level to a lower energy level, it emits energy that
is quantised by Planck's relationship:
Angular momentum is quantised and can only take values of where n is the principle
quantum number
1.4 discuss Plancks contribution to the concept of quantised energy
Planck explained black body radiation by stating that
that is, that the amount of
energy in a photon is proportional to its frequency, and that it is quantised according to a
constant 'h'
1.5 describe how Bohrs postulates led to the development of a mathematical model to account
for the existence of the hydrogen spectrum:

1.6 discuss the limitations of the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom
Ad hoc mixture of classical and quantum physics, it assumed some laws held and others did
Didn't work for heavier elements
Couldnt explain relative intensity of spectral lines
Couldnt explain hyperfine spectral lines
Splitting of spectral lines when sample placed in a magnetic field (Zeeman effect) could not be
1.7 perform a first-hand investigation to observe the visible components of the hydrogen
Power source
Discharge tube
1.8 process and present diagrammatic information to illustrate Bohrs explanation of the Balmer
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1.9 solve problems and analyse information using:

1.10 analyse secondary information to identify the difficulties with the Rutherford-Bohr model,
including its inability to completely explain:
the spectra of larger atoms
the relative intensity of spectral lines
the existence of hyperfine spectral lines
the Zeeman effect

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2. The limitations of classical physics gave birth to quantum physics

Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:32 AM

2.1 describe the impact of de Broglies proposal that any kind of particle has both wave and
particle properties

Matter waves - all particles behaved as waves and could be diffracted and had a wavelength
Explained stability of electron orbits
Led to further developments in quantum mechanics
2.2 define diffraction and identify that interference occurs between waves that have been
Diffraction is the bending of waves around obstacles or through barriers
Interference occurs between waves that have been diffracted
2.3 describe the confirmation of de Broglies proposal by Davisson and Germer
Davison and Germer fired electrons onto a Nickel crystal and upon detecting the intensity of
electrons reflected, found an interference pattern, providing evidence for de Broglie's

2.4 explain the stability of the electron orbits in the Bohr atom using de Broglies hypothesis
Electrons can only exist in stationary states, which are standing waves
Standing waves do not radiate energy
Number of wavelengths is equal to the principle quantum number

2.5 solve problems and analyse information using:

2.6 gather, process, analyse and present information and use available evidence to assess the
contributions made by Heisenberg and Pauli to the development of atomic theory
Heisenberg - uncertainty principle:
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Heisenberg - uncertainty principle:

That is the uncertainty in momentum and uncertainty in position is greater than or equal
to a constant - there is a limit to how precisely the momentum and position of an
electron can be known
Pauli - exclusion principle:
No two electrons can occupy the same quantum state of an atom: explained regularity
of elements in periodic table
Also predicted neutrino (see later sections)

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3. The work of Chadwick and Fermi in producing artificial

transmutations led to practical applications of nuclear physics
Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:32 AM

3.1 define the components of the nucleus (protons and neutrons) as nucleons and contrast their
Components of nucleus are nucleons:
Proton: positive charge, relative mass of 1
Neutron: neutral charge, relative mass of 1.5
3.2 discuss the importance of conservation laws to Chadwicks discovery of the neutron
Chadwick found that when the unknown radiation passed through paraffin wax, protons were
emitted which could be detected.
By calculating the velocity of the alpha particles, and the protons, he used the conservation
laws of momentum and energy to postulate the momentum and energy of the unknown
radiation (neutron)

3.3 define the term transmutation

Transmutation occurs when one element changes into another element
3.4 describe nuclear transmutations due to natural radioactivity
Natural transmutations: alpha, beta minus and gamma
3.5 describe Fermis initial experimental observation of nuclear fission
Trying to create transuranic elements
Bombarded uranium (heaviest known naturally occurring element) with neutrons
Results were confusing - he had discovered fission but did not realise it, was expecting a new
element which would then decay
3.6 discuss Paulis suggestion of the existence of neutrino and relate it to the need to account for
the energy distribution of electrons emitted in -decay
In beta decay, the mass/energy of the products did not equate to the mass/energy of the
Pauli theorised of a very small, neutral particle (which he called neutron, later called neutrino)
which would account for this in beta decay
Therefore, conservation laws would hold
3.7 evaluate the relative contributions of electrostatic and gravitational forces between nucleons
Gravitational force holding together nucleus is many order of magnitude smaller than
electrostatic force
e.g. between two protons: gravitation attraction
whereas the electrostatic
3.8 account for the need for the strong nuclear force and describe its properties
Therefore in a nucleus there must be another force (the strong nuclear force) holding together
the composite parts
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the composite parts

Very short range (at about
the force has effectively zero effect)
Attractive to a point but after that becomes very repulsive
Much stronger than the Coulomb force between two protons (~ 10,000 N for the nuclear

3.9 explain the concept of a mass defect using Einsteins equivalence between mass and energy
In all nuclei, there exists a 'binding energy', a result of the strong nuclear force
In nuclear reactions, this results in a 'mass defect', that is, the mass of reactants does not
equal the mass of the products, due to
,the equivalence of mass and energy (that is,
some of the mass is converted into binding energy)
3.10 describe Fermis demonstration of a controlled nuclear chain reaction in 1942
Graphite blocks as a moderator
Uranium reactor
46 tonnes of natural uranium and uranium oxide interspersed in 40 000 graphite blocks
Cadmium rods acted as controlled rods
By withdrawing the cadmium rods he showed that the pile started to heat, the fission reaction
had begun
3.11 compare requirements for controlled and uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions
Controlled - every fission should produce only one neutron, others are absorbed by control
Uncontrolled - each fission produces 3 more neutrons, which fission 3 more, etc. etc.
3.12 perform a first-hand investigation or gather secondary information to observe radiation
emitted from a nucleus using Wilson Cloud Chamber or similar detection device
Supersaturated alcohol vapour produced using liquid nitrogen
Ionising radiation attracts alcohol to the ionised particles, leaving 'streams'
Alpha are thickest but shortest, then beta are thinner but longer. Gamma rays produce
intermittent streams

3.13 solve problems and analyse information to calculate the mass defect and energy released in
natural transmutation and fission reactions

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4. An understanding of the nucleus has led to large science projects

and many applications
Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:33 AM

4.1 explain the basic principles of a fission reactor

Components required
Fuel: U-235 or Pu-239
Moderator, to slow neutrons (slow neutrons fission better (better chance of being
absorbed)) e.g. water, graphite, beryllium, heavy water
Regulator: control rods
Coolant: air, helium, 'heavy' water, liquid sodium, certain organic compounds
Radiation shielding: concrete or similar
Nuclear reaction produces heat which heats water to produce steam which turns a turbine
4.2 describe some medical and industrial applications of radio-isotopes
Radioactive tracers in biological or physical systems
Amount of wear in machinery - fractures and thickness problems detected by amount of
radiation detected on other side of machine
Regulate thickness of metal or similar
Useful for finding leaks
Isotopic tracing/scanning
4.3 describe how neutron scattering is used as a probe by referring to the properties of neutrons
Neutrons penetrate matter more easily than charged particles
Neutrons exhibit wave-particle duality
When interacting with matter neutron collides with atomic nuclei and scatters in directions
determined by wavelength and structure of the material
X-ray scattering can detect spacing between electron clouds
Neutron scattering can detect spacing between nuclei
4.4 identify ways by which physicists continue to develop their understanding of matter, using
accelerators as a probe to investigate the structure of matter
By accelerating particles to high speeds and smashing them together, the composite parts may
be analysed and properties of matter can be known
For example, the LHC is attempting, amongst other things, to find evidence for the graviton or
Higgs Boson which is the proposed charge carrier of the gravitational force
4.5 discuss the key features and components of the standard model of matter, including quarks
and leptons
Generation Quarks Charge Leptons









Electron Neutrino 0





Strange -1/3

Muon Neutrino




Tau Neutrino


Bottom -1/3

Four forces and their carriers:




Proposed to be Graviton


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Weak Nuclear Force W and K Bosons

Strong Nuclear Force Pion
4.6 gather, process and analyse information to assess the significance of the Manhattan Project to
Manhattan project led to the development of nuclear bombs
Led to the cold war
Death of millions in proxy wars
Death of many Japanese at the close of WWII
Increased understanding of many areas of science e.g. space program
4.7 identify data sources, and gather, process, and analyse information to describe the use of:
- a named isotope in medicine
- a named isotope in agriculture
- a named isotope in engineering
Tc-99m Medicine 6 hours gamma emitter - medical tracer
Co-60 (ag) 5.27 years beta minus to Ni-60 - irradiate fruits etc.
Ir-190 (eng) 11.78 days beta plus to Os-190 - detect metal thickness

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Sunday, 13 March 2011
10:35 AM

The Hydrogen Spectrum - Balmer's Equation

The wavelength of matter

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