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A Quantum Theory for Atomic Structure

A More Detailed Picture

 

Sommerfield introduced elliptical electron orbits into Bohr's model of the atom.

 

Bohr's success was somewhat short lived as more careful experiments revealed extra spectral lines which Bohr could not account for. Sommerfield saved the day by proposing elliptical electron orbits to explain these effects just as Kepler had done more than three centuries earlier to explain deviations of the orbit of Mars around the sun. Bohr's problems were not over though. A closer look at earlier work by Zeeman (1897) showed that extra spectral lines appeared when excited hydrogen atoms were placed in a magnetic field. These could be accounted for if the orientation of the orbit was also included in the equations.

 

Related Laureates

 The Nobel Prize in Physics 1902 - Pieter Zeeman »  The Nobel Prize in Physics 1922 - Niels Henrik David Bohr »  
 



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