What experiments led to the development of the Bohr Model of the atom?

1 Answer
Mar 13, 2016

Well there were two experiments back to back one by J.J. Thomson that resulted "Plum Pudding" model of the atom and the 2nd one by Rutherford (a student of J.J. Thomson actually) which blew a big hole in "Plum Pudding Hypothesis" of the atom. Rutherford experiment with alpha particles shot at a thin gold foil resulted in the Rutherford model of the atom (Orbital Model). This model depicted an atomic model with nearly all its mass, and positive charge, in a central nucleus about 10,000 times smaller than the atom itself. All of the negative charge was held in the electrons, orbiting the dense nucleus like planets around the sun.

Niels Bohr which after his PhD circa 1912 had joined Rutherford realized that Rutherford's model wasn't quite right and started to articulate a model that borrowed from Planck's quantum theory. This approach allowed Niels to explain a relatively stable atomic Model, which still hinged on the orbital model that Rutherford postulated. In fact Nield found that the ratio of energy in electrons and the frequency of their orbits around the nucleus was equal to Planck's constant (the proportion of light's energy to its wave frequency, or approximately 6.626 x 10-23 ).