Neils Bohr

by John Roberts & Jarod Riggio


Neils Bohr was a successful Danish physicist who won the Nobel prize. He won this award by contributing to the understanding of the atomic structure and the quantum theory. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 7th 1885 and died November 18th 1962. He predicted the discovery of an element like zirconium called hafnium and later named Bohrium. Bohrs atomic model is the basis of what we now have for other atomic models.

important facts:

-Bohr said that electrons could only be in certain orbits and in these orbits electrons do not radiate.

-electrons only radiate when they jump from orbit to orbit and the amount of radiation depends on the size of the jump.

-before Bohr, people knew that an atom had a positively charged core where negatively charged electrons orbited.

-people originally thought that electrons would constantly be radiating and their orbit would collapse

- Bohr's idea of the quantum came from Max Planck's idea that atoms do not radiate in a constant stream

-Bohr discovered all of this in England, 1905

-Bohr's theory tells us why atoms radiate the colors of light that they do

Random facts:

-Neils Bohr got his PhD at the university of Copenhagen in 1911

-he won the Nobel prize for physics in 1922

-from 1922  to 1962 he presided over the University Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen

-He was married and had 6 children

Source Citation: "Going Bohr's way in physics." (Niels Bohr's centennial) Science News, Jan 11, 1986 v129 p26(2). Science Resource Center. Gale. 12 October 2014 <

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