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But there are limits to Bohr’s theory. It cannot be applied to multielectron atoms, even one as simple as a two-electron helium atom. Bohr’s model is what we call semiclassical . The orbits are quantized (nonclassical) but are assumed to be simple circular paths (classical). As quantum mechanics was developed, it became clear that there are no well-defined orbits; rather, there are clouds of probability. Bohr’s theory also did not explain that some spectral lines are doublets (split into two) when examined closely. We shall examine many of these aspects of quantum mechanics in more detail, but it should be kept in mind that Bohr did not fail. Rather, he made very important steps along the path to greater knowledge and laid the foundation for all of atomic physics that has since evolved.

Phet explorations: models of the hydrogen atom

How did scientists figure out the structure of atoms without looking at them? Try out different models by shooting light at the atom. Check how the prediction of the model matches the experimental results.

Models of the Hydrogen Atom

Section summary

  • The planetary model of the atom pictures electrons orbiting the nucleus in the way that planets orbit the sun. Bohr used the planetary model to develop the first reasonable theory of hydrogen, the simplest atom. Atomic and molecular spectra are quantized, with hydrogen spectrum wavelengths given by the formula
    1 λ = R 1 n f 2 1 n i 2 , size 12{ { {1} over {λ} } =R left ( { {1} over {n rSub { size 8{f} } rSup { size 8{2} } } } - { {1} over {n rSub { size 8{i} } rSup { size 8{2} } } } right )} {}
    where λ size 12{λ} {} is the wavelength of the emitted EM radiation and R size 12{R} {} is the Rydberg constant, which has the value
    R = 1.097 × 10 7 m −1 .
  • The constants n i size 12{n rSub { size 8{i} } } {} and n f size 12{n rSub { size 8{f} } } {} are positive integers, and n i must be greater than n f size 12{n rSub { size 8{f} } } {} .
  • Bohr correctly proposed that the energy and radii of the orbits of electrons in atoms are quantized, with energy for transitions between orbits given by
    Δ E = hf = E i E f , size 12{ΔE= ital "hf"=E rSub { size 8{i} } - E rSub { size 8{f} } } {}
    where Δ E size 12{ΔE} {} is the change in energy between the initial and final orbits and hf size 12{ ital "hf"} {} is the energy of an absorbed or emitted photon. It is useful to plot orbital energies on a vertical graph called an energy-level diagram.
  • Bohr proposed that the allowed orbits are circular and must have quantized orbital angular momentum given by
    L = m e vr n = n h 2 π n = 1, 2, 3 … ,
    where L size 12{L} {} is the angular momentum, r n size 12{r rSub { size 8{n} } } {} is the radius of the n th size 12{n"th"} {} orbit, and h size 12{h} {} is Planck’s constant. For all one-electron (hydrogen-like) atoms, the radius of an orbit is given by
    r n = n 2 Z a B (allowed orbits n = 1, 2, 3, ...),
    Z size 12{Z} {} is the atomic number of an element (the number of electrons is has when neutral) and a B size 12{a rSub { size 8{B} } } {} is defined to be the Bohr radius, which is
    a B = h 2 4 π 2 m e kq e 2 = 0.529 × 10 10 m . size 12{a rSub { size 8{B} } = { {h rSup { size 8{2} } } over {4π rSup { size 8{2} } m rSub { size 8{e} } ital "kq" rSub { size 8{e} } rSup { size 8{2} } } } =0 "." "529" times "10" rSup { size 8{ - "10"} } " m" "." } {}
  • Furthermore, the energies of hydrogen-like atoms are given by
    E n = Z 2 n 2 E 0 n = 1, 2, 3 ... , size 12{ left (n=1, 2, 3 "." "." "." right )} {}
    where E 0 size 12{E rSub { size 8{0} } } {} is the ground-state energy and is given by
    E 0 = 2 q e 4 m e k 2 h 2 = 13.6 eV. size 12{E rSub { size 8{0} } = { {2π rSup { size 8{2} } q rSub { size 8{e} } rSup { size 8{4} } m rSub { size 8{e} } k rSup { size 8{2} } } over {h rSup { size 8{2} } } } ="13" "." 6" eV"} {}
    Thus, for hydrogen,
    E n = 13.6 eV n 2 size 12{E rSub { size 8{n} } = - { {"13" "." 6" eV"} over {n rSup { size 8{2} } } } } {} n = 1, 2, 3 ... . size 12{ left (n=1, 2, 3 "." "." "." right ) "." } {}
  • The Bohr Theory gives accurate values for the energy levels in hydrogen-like atoms, but it has been improved upon in several respects.

Conceptual questions

How do the allowed orbits for electrons in atoms differ from the allowed orbits for planets around the sun? Explain how the correspondence principle applies here.

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Questions & Answers

What is the difference between a principle and a law
the law is universally proved. The principal depends on certain conditions.
state Faraday first law
aliyu Reply
it states that mass of an element deposited during electrolysis is directly proportional to the quantity of electricity discharge
what does the speedometer of a car measure ?
Jyoti Reply
Car speedometer measures the rate of change of distance per unit time.
describe how a Michelson interferometer can be used to measure the index of refraction of a gas (including air)
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is higher resolution of microscope using red or blue light?.explain
what is dimensional consistent
In engineering and science, dimensional analysis is the analysis of the relationships between different physical quantities by identifying their base quantities and units of measure and tracking these dimensions as calculations or comparisons are performed
can sound wave in air be polarized?
Unlike transverse waves such as electromagnetic waves, longitudinal waves such as sound waves cannot be polarized. ... Since sound waves vibrate along their direction of propagation, they cannot be polarized
A proton moves at 7.50×107m/s perpendicular to a magnetic field. The field causes the proton to travel in a circular path of radius 0.800 m. What is the field strength?
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derived dimenionsal formula
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what is head-on collision
Javaid Reply
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Godswill Reply
derivative of first differential equation
Haruna Reply
why static friction is greater than Kinetic friction
Ali Reply
draw magnetic field pattern for two wire carrying current in the same direction
Ven Reply
An American traveler in New Zealand carries a transformer to convert New Zealand’s standard 240 V to 120 V so that she can use some small appliances on her trip.
nkombo Reply
What is the ratio of turns in the primary and secondary coils of her transformer?
what is energy
How electric lines and equipotential surface are mutually perpendicular?
Abid Reply
The potential difference between any two points on the surface is zero that implies È.Ŕ=0, Where R is the distance between two different points &E= Electric field intensity. From which we have cos þ =0, where þ is the angle between the directions of field and distance line, as E andR are zero. Thus
sorry..E and R are non zero...
Practice Key Terms 7

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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