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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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On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules

On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules

(p.39) 2 On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules
Niels Bohr and the Quantum Atom

Helge Kragh

Oxford University Press

Starting with Bohr’s education and early career in Copenhagen, where he focused on the electron theory of metals, the chapter follows the early development of his ideas of atomic structure. These ideas matured during his stay with Rutherford in Manchester and were published in three seminal papers in 1913. The main part of the chapter offers a description and analysis of the ‘trilogy’ of papers in which Bohr laid out the foundation of his atomic theory. It also covers the early and successful spectroscopic applications of the theory in the area of one-electron atomic systems, where Bohr defended his theory against objections from British physicists. Moreover, the chapter deals with Bohr’s promise of providing an atomic foundation of chemistry, including an explanation of molecules and the periodic system.

Keywords:   Niels Bohr, electron theory of metals, Rutherford, Manchester, molecules, periodic system, atomic chemistry

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