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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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Reception and Early Developments

Reception and Early Developments

(p.90) 3 Reception and Early Developments
Niels Bohr and the Quantum Atom

Helge Kragh

Oxford University Press

Bohr’s theory was generally well received, although few physicists accepted the postulates on which it rested. It was found attractive because of its explanatory and predictive power. This chapter details the reception of the theory from 1913 to about 1916, mostly in England, Germany, and the United States, including the opposition it met from conservative physicists and chemists. It is argued that this opposition was substantial and often justified, but also that it had little effect on the further development of Bohr’s theory. The Stark effect, discovered in 1913, had a major impact on how the theory was received in Germany, and its role is explained. In addition, the little known case of triatomic hydrogen is considered, and also the support that Bohr’s views received from H. Moseley’s pioneering research on characteristic X-rays.

Keywords:   triatomic hydrogen, Bohr theory, H. Moseley, X-rays, Stark effect

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