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Atomic Structure The nature of atoms was deduced from important experiments conducted in the late 1800's up to the mid 1900's by scientists in Europe. Some of these include: Wilhelm Röntgen's discovery of x-rays in 1895. Antoine-Henri Becquerel's discovery of radioactivity one year later. J. J. Thomson's discovery of electrons in 1897. Max Planck's proposal of quantum theory in 1900. Ernest Rutherford's studies of radioactivity and the famous gold foil experiment in 1910. Niels Bohr's hydrogen atom theory in 1913. Erwin Schrödinger's theory of quantum wave mechanics in 1926. Louis de Broglie demonstrated the wave-like properties of electrons in 1927. James Chadwick's discovery of neutrons in 1932. Atoms Are composed of three kinds of subatomic particles: protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons and neutrons are located in the nucleus and have most of an atom's mass. Electrons are located in specific regions around the nucleus with specific energies. The diameter of the nucleus is 1/10000 of the diameter of the atom.