Constitution and model. The quantum theory of Bohr and imagining the atom

Por • 30 jun, 2014 • Sección: Opinion

Giora Hon, Bernard R. Goldstein

Abstract: The quantum theory of Bohr has roots in the theories of Rutherford and J. J. Thomson on the one hand, and that of Nicholson on the other. We note that Bohr neither presented the theories of Rutherford and Thomson faithfully, nor did he refer to the theory of Nicholson in its own terms. The contrasting attitudes towards these antecedent theories is telling and reveals the philosophical disposition of Bohr. We argue that Bohr intentionally avoided the concept of model as inappropriate for describing his proposed theory. Bohr had no problem in referring to the works of others as ‘models’, thus separating his theory from previous theories. He was interested in uncovering ‘a little piece of reality’.

arXiv:1406.6993v1 [physics.hist-ph]


History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph)

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