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Science Corner

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The History of the Atom

1. Primitive Man: asked "How big is small?"
2. Democritus: everything is composed of atoms and the void; atoms make life predictable; particles in space are constant in motion; they are indivisible; life differs because of atoms
3. Plato/Aristotle: did not accept beliefs of Democritus
4. Catholic Church: suggested that these teachings were heresy; prevented scientific research
5. Alchemist: scientific observation instead of pure thout
6. Roger Bacon: gave the first model of experimentation but does not publish because of opposition from the Church
7. William Gilbert (the paramour of Elizabeth I): allowed to write/publish; documents the first true scientific experimentation
8. Benjamin Franklin: discovers electricity; an excess is positive charge; deficit, negative
9. Cabeo: discovers that similarly charged particles repelled one antoher
10. Coulomb: law that as objects come closer together, the force of repulsion becomes greater and greater
11. Lavoisier: discovers that the mass of reactants equals the mass of the products, or the law of conservation of mass
12. Proust: law of definite proportions
13. Dalton: gave first atomic theory; discovers that there are unique atoms for each element
14. Faraday: discovers that electricity is the "glue" that holds atoms together
15. Crooke: cathode-ray tubes; determines electrons are particles that carry a negative charge
16. Thompson: cathode rays held negatively charged particles that he called electrons
17. Millikin: discovers the mass of one electron
18. Henri Becquerel: discovers radiation
19. Rutherford: developed the gold foil experiment which demonstrated the presense of a positively charged center core called the nucleus; gave the solar system model of the atom
20. Max Planck/Albert Einstein: radiating body radiates out in discreet packets of energy; quanta; E=hv
21. Niels Bohr: developed a model of the atom which explained why the elctron at the ground state does not lose energy
22. Louis de Broglie: describes elctrons as behaving like waves
23. Irwin Schroedinger: first to propose wave-mechanical model of the atom
24. Heisenber: uncertainty principle; the act of observing disturbs the actual
25. Balmer: described the visible spectrum
26. Lyman: described the light of the ultraviolet range
27. Paschen: described the light of infrared range

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