Which Part of Dalton’s Atomic Theory Did Thomson Prove Were Incorrect?


Martha Robinson

John Dalton’s atomic theory was one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 19th century. The theory revolutionized the way we understand atoms and their behavior. However, with time, scientists have discovered that some parts of Dalton’s theory were incorrect, including J.J. Thomson.

Thomson was a British physicist who is best known for his discovery of the electron, which led to the development of the first atomic model. In his experiments with cathode rays, he proved that atoms were not indivisible as Dalton’s theory suggested. Instead, they contained negatively charged particles called electrons.

Thomson’s experiments also proved that another part of Dalton’s theory was incorrect: the idea that all atoms of a given element are identical in every way. Thomson discovered that atoms could have different masses due to the presence of subatomic particles like electrons.

Furthermore, Thomson disproved another part of Dalton’s atomic theory: the idea that all elements combine in simple whole number ratios to form compounds. Using his cathode ray experiments, Thomson showed that some compounds contain fractions of atoms instead.

Thomson also proposed a new atomic model called “plum pudding” or “raisin cake” model, which replaced Dalton’s indivisible solid sphere model. According to Thomson’s model, atoms were made up of positively charged material with negatively charged electrons embedded within it.

In conclusion, J. Thomson proved several parts of John Dalton’s atomic theory were incorrect through his cathode ray experiments and discovery of electrons. His work laid the foundation for future advancements in atomic research and helped us better understand the building blocks of matter we see around us today.