Drawbacks of Rutherford Model

Rutherford nuclear model of an atom is like a small scale solar system with the nucleus playing the role of the massive sun and the electrons being similar to the lighter planets. Further, the coulomb force (kq1q2 /r2) where q1 and q2 are the charges, r is the distance of separation of the charges and k is the proportionality constant) between electron and the nucleus is mathematically similar to the gravitational force (G. m1m2/r2) where m1 and m2 are the masses, r is the distance of separation of the masses and G is the gravitational constant.

When classical mechanics is applied to the solar system, it shows that the planets describe well-defined orbits around the sun. The theory can also calculate precisely the planetary orbits and these are in agreement with the experimental measurements. The similarity between the solar system and nuclear model suggests that electrons should move around the nucleus in well defined orbits.

However, when a body is moving in an orbit, it undergoes acceleration (even if the body is moving with a constant speed in an orbit, it must accelerate because of changing direction). So an electron in the nuclear model describing planet like orbits is under acceleration. According to the electromagnetic theory of Maxwell, charged particles when accelerated should emit electromagnetic radiation (This feature does not exist for planets since they are uncharged). Therefore, an electron in an orbit will emit radiation, the energy carried by radiation comes from electronic motion.