why do scientists use models to study atoms

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Main reason is that the real atom is already unknown.


There was many models, like for example: Dalton Model - the atom was a solid ball. Rutherford - orbital model The re are also other people that developed study and created their atomic models like Thomson, Bhor and Somerfield.


We have today what scientists call the Nowadays Atomic Model, that is the most advanced model, able to best aproximate of a real atom and explain great number of theories.


These models are theories about how is the atom, and a model is overtaken by other, when it is able to explain better the atom behaviour. For example, the model of Rutherford overtaken the model of Dalton.


So, they use models to better approximate of a real atom in order to study it, because a real atom is not already known also because it is very hard to study a real atom, because it is very small.