Scientists use models to help explain the structure of the atom. Their understanding of the structure of the atom continues to evolve. Two models commonly used are the Bohr and the "electron cloud" (Quantum Mechanics) models. The Bohr model does not depict the three-dimensional aspect of an atom, and it implies that electrons are in static orbits. The "electron cloud" model better represents our current understanding of the structure of the atom.
The student will investigate and understand the modern and historical models of atomic structure. Key concepts include a) the contributions of Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr in understanding the atom; and b) the modern model of atomic structure.