The portal has been deactivated. Please contact your portal admin.

Question Video: Recalling Who Established the Quantum Mechanical Model Chemistry

Who established the quantum mechanical model of the atom?

02:42

Video Transcript

Who established the quantum mechanical model of the atom?

In this question, we need to determine who established the quantum mechanical model of the atom. Let us first describe the Bohr model of the atom. And then we can then explain the quantum mechanical model of the atom and who theorized it.

Niels Bohr was a famous Danish physicist who explained the emission spectrum of hydrogen. He did this by theorizing that electrons orbit nuclei much like planets orbit the Sun. The figure describes the Bohr model using a representative beryllium atom. We see that the electrons are supposed to orbit the positively charged nucleus at a set radii. The energy state of each electron was supposed to be determined by the radius of its orbit. Electrons were supposed to have a relatively low energy state if they had a small radius. They were supposed to have a relatively high energy state if they had a large radius.

This scientific model satisfactorily explains the emission spectrum of hydrogen. However, it does not explain the emission spectra of other elements with a higher atomic number. The quantum mechanical model of the atom proposed an altogether different model for the structure of the atom. This model stated that electrons do not orbit atomic nuclei at set radii with a well-defined position. This model showed that it is more accurate to describe electrons as three-dimensional clouds of negatively charged density.

The figure shows the electrons of a beryllium atom according to the quantum mechanical model. We see that two electrons form one spherical cloud of electron density is called the 1s orbital. We can also see that the other two electrons form a different spherical cloud system of electron density called the 2s orbital. We should note that density is not uniform throughout these clouds of electron density.

It should be clear that the Bohr and quantum mechanical models for atomic structure are fundamentally different, since they describe the location of electrons differently. Erwin Schrödinger, an Irish physicist, developed the quantum mechanical model of the atom, which satisfactorily explains more scientific phenomena than the Bohr model and is the basis for modern quantum chemistry.

In conclusion, after comparing the two models for the electron location within the structure of the atom, we should now understand that Schrödinger established the quantum mechanical model of the atom.

Nagwa uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.