Last Updated 01 May 2017

Niels Bohr

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Niels Bohr is a big person in the history of chemistry. If it wasn’t for him we would not have known as much as we do now about the atom. He came to a conclusion of so many unanswered questions people were left after the discovery of the electron. He also participated in the United State’s biggest project that helped us win World War II. If it wasn’t for Niels Bohr we probably would not have as many things as we do today. He is one, if not, the biggest person in the history of Chemistry.

Niels Bohr was born around the time people started to research more about the atom. In his early years J. J. Thomson discovered the electron which would later have a big debate. During Bohr’s college days, he became a pupil of J. J. Thomson. They both began to work on the structure of the atom and trying to figure out how it works. They both started using everyone’s theories and put them together for example; he used Max Planck’s quanta theory, and used what Ernest Rutherford suggested what the atom was like.

By putting these together Bohr and Thomson found out that the electrons at a certain distance away from the nucleus which were called energy levels. They also figured out that when electrons absorb energy it goes to higher energy levels moving farther from the nucleus, but when it loses energy it goes down energy levels and gets closer to the nucleus. Even though Bohr’s model isn’t 100% perfect, his model is more accurate then what others came up with. Later on though many others have improved Bohr’s model and made it more accurate.

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After Bohr completed his atomic model he then won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his model. Bohr got right back to work after he won the Nobel Prize and started to research atomic nuclei and learning more about them and also settled some differences in quantum physics. While he was doing this Bohr went back to his homeland over in Europe during the time World War II started. After Germany was taking over Europe he was able to flee to Sweden and then came to the United States again. In the United States he was invited to help out with the Manhattan Project.

Just imagine if Bohr was not able to help out with the Manhattan Project. Where would we be during the World War II, would we have won? All of these questions come back to Bohr, because of his knowledge of an atom and his research of the atomic nuclei we were able to produce an atomic bomb. Bohr had a lot of influence in what our world is like today. If he wasn’t alive we would not have known (or would be decades behind with our researches then where we are today) the atom and how to use it.

Bohr also did research on atomic nuclei which got him invited into the Manhattan Project which changed the world as we know it. This project began the nuclear weapon uses throughout the world and also ended World War II and any possible world war in the future. Because of this mostly every country has nuclear weapons and the world can end at any moment from this. Bohr has done a lot and with help from J. J. Thomson, he was able to do the things he did.

Without Thomson discovering the electron, Bohr would not need to have discovered the structure of the atom because it was already known. Throughout Bohr’s life he was able to find new things out to help the world out. He might not have done it alone or 100% perfect, but he was able to find out these things and help the world out. Without him there would be no nuclear weapons, and who knows what would have happened at the end of World War II. Because of what Bohr has researched and found, Niels Bohr is one of the greatest people that have ever been involved with chemistry.

Works Cited

"Niels Bohr | Biography | Atomicarchive.com." Atomicarchive.com: Exploring the History, Science, and Consequences of the Atomic Bomb. Web. 30 Nov. 2010. <http://www.atomicarchive.com/Bios/Bohr.shtml>.

"A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries: Niels Bohr." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 30 Nov. 2010. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bpbohr.html>.

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