Chapter

Atomic Theories Before 1913

Helge Kragh

in Niels Bohr and the Quantum Atom

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654987
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741692 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654987.003.0001
Atomic Theories Before 1913

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The chapter outlines the history of the composite atom from about 1850 to the early 1910s, including some pre-electron models of which the vortex atom hypothesis was the most developed. However, it focuses on the electron atoms suggested from about 1895. It pays particular attention to J. J. Thomson’s atomic model, which is described in detail, and also to the lesser known planetary models of John Nicholson and Hantaro Nagaoka. The nuclear atom proposed by Ernest Rutherford in 1911 served as the foundation for Bohr’s atomic model, but at the time it was not widely accepted. The chapter further discusses the new ideas of atomic number and isotopy which were introduced shortly before Bohr came up with his quantum model of the atom.

Keywords: atomic models; Ernest Rutherford; John Nicholson; J. J. Thompson; planetary models; isotopy; Hantaro Nagaoka; Niels Bohr; atomic number

Chapter.  18343 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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