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The Bohr Atom


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Table of Contents

1 - Preliminaries
2 - The Bohr model I: hydrogenic atoms
3 - The Bohr model II: corollaries
4 - Miscellaneous topics
5 - The 1930s, World War II, fission, the bomb, and politics
Appendix A
Appendix B

About the Author

Bruce Cameron Reed is the Charles A Dana Professor of Physics Emeritus at Alma College, Michigan. He holds a PhD in physics from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He has published books on the Manhattan Project, quantum mechanics, and Keplerian ellipses. In 2009, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his contributions to the history of both the physics and the development of nuclear weapons in the Manhattan Project.


Reed revisits the three 1913 papers and steers us through them. He points out the assumptions and their consequences and he shows the ways in which the model was gradually tweaked to improve its generality until finally it was overtaken by a more comprehensive quantum mechanical description. Always the historian, Reed cannot resist chronicling the highlights of Bohr's after-the-model career. This brief biography puts the transitory nature of the model into the context of a long life in physics much of which was spent encouraging others to make their contributions. His model was the stepping stone that offered a transition from the classical world to the 'Modern' one and as such The Bohr Atom is a worthwhile read for any teacher of physics. It is aimed at the e-book market and as a result, it has no index relying on search functions. However, it has a good bibliography as well as some exercises for the attentive reader. There is now a paperback edition and the book is short enough not to suffer too badly from the lack of index, otherwise, it might only be available to readers in institutions with IoP e-book subscriptions.

S. R. Shorter 2021 Contemporary Physics Taylor & Francis Group -- R. S. Shorter * Contemporary Physics *

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