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Niels Bohr and the Quantum AtomThe Bohr Model of Atomic Structure 1913–1925$
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Helge Kragh

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654987

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654987.001.0001

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Atomic Theories Before 1913

Atomic Theories Before 1913

(p.1) 1 Atomic Theories Before 1913
Niels Bohr and the Quantum Atom

Helge Kragh

Oxford University Press

The chapter outlines the history of the composite atom from about 1850 to the early 1910s, including some pre-electron models of which the vortex atom hypothesis was the most developed. However, it focuses on the electron atoms suggested from about 1895. It pays particular attention to J. J. Thomson’s atomic model, which is described in detail, and also to the lesser known planetary models of John Nicholson and Hantaro Nagaoka. The nuclear atom proposed by Ernest Rutherford in 1911 served as the foundation for Bohr’s atomic model, but at the time it was not widely accepted. The chapter further discusses the new ideas of atomic number and isotopy which were introduced shortly before Bohr came up with his quantum model of the atom.

Keywords:   atomic models, Ernest Rutherford, John Nicholson, J. J. Thompson, planetary models, isotopy, Hantaro Nagaoka, Niels Bohr, atomic number

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