of the

Manjunath.R #16/1, 8th Main Road, Shivanagar, Rajajinagar, Bangalore560010, Karnataka, India *Corresponding Author Email: [email protected] *Website: http://www.myw3schools.com/


Through his experiments, the Neils Bohr improved upon Rutherford's model of the atom and developed his model of the atomic structure in 1913 that succeeded in explaining the spectral features of the . A simple means for extending the conventional non-relativistic Bohr model of the atom to include the nature of is presented. As the derivation requires basic knowledge of classical and wave mechanics, it can be taught in standard courses in modern physics and introductory mechanics.


Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who is generally regarded as one of the foremost of the 20th century. He was the first to apply the quantum concept, which restricts the of a system to certain discrete values, to the problem of atomic and molecular structure. For that work he received the for Physics in 1922. His manifold roles in the origins and development of quantum physics may be his most-important contribution, but through his long career his involvements were substantially broader, both inside and outside the world of physics.

In 1911, fresh from completion of his PhD, the young Danish physicist left Denmark on a foreign scholarship headed for the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge to work under J. J. Thomson on the structure of atomic systems. At the time, Bohr began to put forth the idea that since light could no long be treated as continuously propagating , but instead as discrete energy packets (as articulated by Planck and Einstein), why should the classical Newtonian mechanics on which Thomson's model was based hold true? It seemed to Bohr that the atomic model should be modified in a similar way. If electromagnetic energy is quantized, i.e. restricted

12 to take on only integer values of hυ, where υ is the of light, then it seemed reasonable that the mechanical energy associated with the energy of atomic electrons is also quantized.

However, Bohr's still somewhat vague ideas were not well received by Thomson, and Bohr decided to move from Cambridge after his first year to a place where his concepts about quantization of electronic motion in would meet less opposition. He chose the University of Manchester, where the chair of physics was held by . While in Manchester, Bohr learned about the nuclear model of the atom proposed by Rutherford. To overcome the difficulty associated with the classical collapse of the into the nucleus, Bohr proposed that the orbiting electron could only exist in certain special states of motion - called stationary states, in which no electromagnetic was emitted. In these states, the angular of the electron L takes on integer values of Planck's constant divided by 2π, 퐡 denoted by ħ = (pronounced h-bar). In these stationary states, the electron angular ퟐ훑 momentum can take on values ħ, 2ħ, 3ħ... but never non-integer values. This is known as quantization of , and was one of Bohr's key hypotheses.

퐡 퐡 He imagined the atom as consisting of electron waves of λ = = endlessly 퐦퐯 퐩 circling atomic nuclei. In his picture, only orbits with circumferences corresponding to an integral multiple of electron could survive without destructive interference (i.e., 퐧ћ r = could survive without destructive interference). For circular orbits, the position vector of 퐦퐯 the electron r is always perpendicular to its linear momentum p. The angular momentum L has magnitude mvr in this case. Thus Bohr's postulate of quantized angular momentum is equivalent to mvr = nħ where n is a positive integer called . It tells us what the electron occupies.

퐡 퐡 Since λ = = (de Broglie relation), 퐦퐯 퐩

퐡퐯퐩 p vp = = hυ = ћω 훌


3 퐡 where ħ = is the reduced Planck constant, ω is the , and vp is the phase ퟐ훑 velocity.

ћ퐯 p vp = 퐫

Since nћ = pr (quantization of angular momentum),

v = n vp

The velocity of the electron or the group velocity of the corresponding associated with the electron is the integral multiple of the of the corresponding matter wave associated with the electron.

Since n is a positive integer > 0,

v ≥ vp

By the de Broglie hypothesis, we see that

퐩퐯퐩 퐡훖 = 훌 훌 퐩퐯 퐡훖 = 퐧훌 훌 Substituting nλ = 2πr,

퐦퐯ퟐ 퐡훖 = 2π 퐫 훌

The classical description of the nuclear atom is based upon the Coulomb attraction between the positively charged nucleus and the negative electrons orbiting the nucleus. Furthermore, we consider only circular orbits. The electron, with m and charge e− moves in a circular orbit


4 of radius r with constant velocity v. The attractive Coulomb force provides the necessary acceleration to maintain orbital motion. (Note we neglect the motion of the nucleus since its mass is much greater than the electron.) The total force on the electron is thus

퐙퐞ퟐ 퐦퐯ퟐ F = ퟐ = ퟒ훑훆ퟎ퐫 r

−12 푭 where ε0 = 8.854 ×10 is the permittivity of free space. 풎

퐡훖 퐡훖 F = 2π i.e., F > 훌 훌

퐙퐞ퟐ 퐡훖 − = − 2πr ퟒ훑훆ퟎ퐫 훌 Substituting 2πr = nλ,

퐙퐞ퟐ − = − n hυ ퟒ훑훆ퟎ퐫 The potential energy of the electron is just given by the Coulomb potential:

퐙퐞ퟐ U = − = − n hυ ퟒ훑훆ퟎ퐫

U = − n hυ

The potential energy of the electron is the integral multiple of − hυ. The negative sign indicates that it takes energy to pull the orbiting electron away from the nucleus.

Since n is a positive integer > 0, U ≥ hυ



From the equation:

ퟏ K = mv2 ퟐ we can determine the of the electron (neglecting relativistic effects) pv K = 2 퐧ћ Substituting p = , 퐫 nћv nћω K = 2r = 2

nhυ K = 2

퐡훖 The kinetic energy of the electron is the integral multiple of . ퟐ

Since n is a positive integer > 0, hυ K ≥ 2 The total energy E = K + U is thus nhυ E = + (−nhυ ) 2 nhυ E = − 2


6 퐡훖 The total energy of the electron is the integral multiple of − . The frequency of radiation ퟐ absorbed or emitted when transition occurs between two stationary states that differ in energy by ∆E, is given by:

∆E E2− E1 υphoton = = h h

where E1 and E2 are the of the lower and higher allowed energy states respectively. This expression is commonly known as Bohr's frequency rule.

n hυ n hυ – 2 2 – (– 1 1) 2 2 υphoton = h

n1υ1 – n2υ2 = 2υphoton

In physics (specifically, celestial mechanics), escape velocity is the minimum speed needed for 1 an electron to escape from the electrostatic influence of a nucleus. If the kinetic energy mv2 2

퐙퐞ퟐ of the electron is equal in magnitude to the potential energy , then electron could escape ퟒ훑훆ퟎ퐫 from the electrostatic field of a nucleus.

ퟐ 1 퐙퐞 mv2 = = nhυ 2 ퟒ훑훆ퟎ퐫


v = vescape = √ m


7 mv2 Ze2 = 2 r 4πε0r

2 2 Ze mω r = 2 4πε0r

2 2π 2 e Z ( ) = × 3 T 4πε0m r

2π 2 2 Z ( ) = re c × T r3

where re denote the Classical electron radius

r3 T2 ∝ Z

"The very nature of the quantum theory ... forces us to regard the space-time coordination and the claim of causality, the union of which characterizes the classical theories, as complementary but exclusive features of the description, symbolizing the idealization of observation and description, respectively."

― Niels Bohr


Bohr and Margrethe Norlund on their engagement in 1910

1927 in Brussels, October 1927. Bohr is on the right in the middle row, next to

9 (left) with Bohr at the Conference in 1934

Bohr with , and


Niels Bohr (left) – Danish theoretical physicist and winner of the 1922 – along with his son

Aage Bohr (center) – nuclear physicist and winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics – and his grandson Tomas

Bohr (bottom)

11 Total energy of the electron:

nhυ E = − 2

E nυ 2 = − mc 2υc

mc2 υc = is the Compton frequency of the electron. h

Orbital velocity:

mv2 Ze2 = 2 r 4πε0r

Ze2 nhυ v = √ = √ 4πε0rm m

Ze2 Z ×Classical electron radius v = √ = c √ 4πε0rm r

The moment of inertia of an electron in nth orbit is:

I = n × mr2


12 L = nħ

Therefore: L I = × mr2 ħ

L2r L2 I = = ħv ħω

The acceleration of the electron:

v2 a = = ω × v r

2π nhυ a = √ T m

Ze2 F = 2 4πε0r


e2 Fine structure constant (훂) = 4πε0ħc

Therefore: ħc hc F = 훂 × Z × = 훂 × Z × r2 2 × Area of circular orbit

13 Quantum circulation: h Q0 = 2m

Since: nh mvr = 2π


nQ0 2Q0 v = = πr λ

v nQ0 ω = = r Area of circular orbit


 Particle or Wave: The Evolution of the Concept of Matter in Modern Physics By Charis Anastopoulos.  for Chemists by David Oldham Hayward.  Niels Bohr and the Quantum Atom: The Bohr Model of Atomic Structure 1913−1925 by Helge Kragh.  Understanding Physics by David C. Cassidy.