Full Text

4. Bohr

DUGALD MURDOCH


Subject Philosophy

Key-Topics science

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631230205.2001.00007.x


Extract

One of the most influential physicists of the twentieth century, Niels Bohr was born in Copenhagen on 7 October 1885, and died there on 18 November 1962. He came of a well-to-do, cultivated family, his father being Professor of Physiology at Copenhagen University, where Bohr himself received his education in physics. After taking his doctorate in 1911, Bohr went to Cambridge University to continue his research on the theory of electrons under Sir J. J. Thomson. After several months in Cambridge, he moved to Manchester to work under Ernest Rutherford, the world leader in the newly emerging field of atomic physics. It was in Rutherford's department that Bohr proposed his revolutionary quantum theory of the structure of the hydrogen atom in 1913. In order to explain the surprisingly large angles at which alpha particles were scattered from atoms in a target, Rutherford had proposed that an atom consists of a positively charged nucleus, and negatively charged electrons which orbit the nucleus. According to classical electrodynamics, however, such a structure ought quickly to disintegrate, for the electrons ought rapidly to spiral down into the nucleus, giving off radiation on their way. Bohr tackled this problem, and solved it with a theory of extraordinary boldness. Blatantly contradicting the classical theory, he suggested that an atom can exist only in a finite number of discrete ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top