Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most important physicists.
He was the first to apply the quantum concept to the problem of atomic and molecular structure, which limits a system’s energy to discrete values.
In 1922, He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for this work. His numerous roles in the creation and growth of quantum physics may be his most significant contribution, but his involvements were significantly broader throughout his long career, both within and outside the world of physics.
Bohr was the second of three siblings born into a Copenhagen upper-middle-class family. When he enrolled at the University of Copenhagen in 1903, he knew he wanted to study physics.
The University leased the Polytechnic Institute for the purpose of conducting research and providing instruction in that field. Bohr earned his doctorate in 1911 with a dissertation on metal
Bohr earned his doctorate in 1911 with a thesis on Metal
Bohr’s first donation to the emerging new idea of quantum physics began in 1912, during what is now known as postdoctoral research with Ernest Rutherford at the University of Manchester.
Only a year before, Rutherford and his colleagues had formed experimental data that the atom consisted entirely of a heavy positive-charged nucleus surrounded by significantly lighter negatively charged electrons.
According to Classical physics, such a system would be unstable, so Bohr felt compelled to postulate, in a substantial trilogy of published articles in “The Philosophical Magazine in 1913” that electrons only could occupy specific orbits determined by the quantum of action, and that ionizing waves from an atom took place only when an electron jumped to a lower-energy orbit.
Although radical and unacceptably radical to most physicists at the moment, the Bohr atomic model was capable of accounting for an increasing number of experimental data, most notably the spectral line series released into the atmosphere by hydrogen.
The Nobel Prize
Bohr had already attempted to apply his concept to the knowledge of the periodic table of elements in his 1913 trilogy. He improved on that aspect of his work until the early 1920s, through which time he devised a complex scheme for constructing the periodic table by trying to add electrons to the atom one after the other in accordance with his atomic model.
When Bohr won the Nobel Prize for his research in 1922, the Hungarian physical chemist Georg Hevesy was working at Bohr’s institute with the Dutch physicist Dirk Coster to establish experiments that as atomic element 72 would start behaving as predicted by Bohr’s theory.