According to Dalton’s Atomic Theory, atoms are considered the fundamental building blocks of matter that cannot be divided into smaller parts. However, with advancements in science and technology, it has been discovered that atoms can indeed be divided into smaller particles.
The first evidence of the divisibility of atoms came from J.J. Thomson’s experiments with cathode rays in 1897. Thomson discovered that cathode rays were negatively charged particles that were much smaller than an atom and called them electrons. This led to the discovery of the electron as a subatomic particle.
Later experiments by Ernest Rutherford in 1911 showed that atoms have a small but dense nucleus at their center, which contains positively charged particles called protons. Rutherford’s gold foil experiment also showed that the majority of the atom’s volume is empty space where negatively charged electrons are found.
In 1932, James Chadwick discovered another subatomic particle called the neutron, which is present in the nucleus and has no charge.
Despite these discoveries, Dalton’s Atomic Theory remains relevant today as it provides a simple framework for understanding chemical reactions and properties of elements based on their atomic structure.
However, it is important to note that while atoms can be divided into subatomic particles such as electrons, protons, and neutrons – these particles cannot exist independently outside of an atom due to their inherent properties and interactions with each other.
In conclusion, while Dalton’s Atomic Theory remains a useful framework for understanding basic atomic structure and chemical reactions – it is important to acknowledge that atoms can indeed be divided into smaller particles. The discoveries of subatomic particles such as electrons, protons, and neutrons have revolutionized our understanding of matter and its behavior at the atomic level.