From Planck’s Hypothesis to Bohr’s Atom
We give a brief sketch of the development of ideas in Physics at the beginning of the twentieth century based on the “quantum postulate”. We describe Planck’s proposal in 1900 to solve the black body problem and Einstein’s explanation of the photoelectric effect in 1905 based on the same line of thought. We recall the experimental and theoretical achievements on the atomic structure of matter at the turn of the century, culminating with Rutherford’s idea of the atom as a small planetary system in 1911. Then, we discuss the first dynamical model of the hydrogen atom proposed by Bohr in 1913 and the subsequent generalization of the model through the Bohr–Sommerfeld quantization rule.
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