When the atom went quantum

Bohr's revolutionary atomic theory turns 100

By Tom Siegfried, 20:00 PM June 28, 2013

Before Niels Bohr, atoms baffled science’s brightest brains.

For millennia, atoms had been phantoms, widely suspected to exist but remaining stubbornly invisible — though not indivisible, as their name (Greek for “uncuttable”) originally implied. By the start of the 20th century, physicists knew that atoms had electrically charged parts; the favorite model envisioned blobs of positively charged pudding studded with negatively charged plums (actually, electrons). That image was challenged, thou...

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