Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A general question about quantum physics

  1. Nov 10, 2015 #1
    I have come across "quantum physics" during the curriculum of an Inorganic chemistry course. and since the topic is too broad, I'm confused a bit about what exactly do I need to know ( or to which extent should I learn about this theory). we are studying the historical development of the atom model , and quantum mechanics comes along as the reason to why Bohr's model was no longer accepted. my question is what would be enough to know about the theory , to serve this study aim ( the development of the atom model).
    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2015 #2
    Quantum physics is confusing because it is radically different way of thinking from the classical particle model of anything. But the Bohr's model which uses quantum ideas to generate a semi-classical model of atoms should be sufficient. basic idea that there are allowed states and not allowed states and their number including the spin quantum number of electron.
  4. Nov 10, 2015 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    Hi elia gomez, you could have a look at

    The Bohr Model (clickable overview, HyperPhysics) and Failures of the Bohr Model (HyperPhysics).

    Furthermore, the Bohr model could not account for e.g. 1) the emission spectra (i.e. the energy levels) of more complex atoms and 2) the fine structure (small splittings of spectral lines). Also, the Pauli exclusion principle is an important concept which was formulated more than ten years after the Bohr model.
  5. Nov 11, 2015 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    For chemistry Griffiths book is often used:

    I wouldn't worry much about the historical development stuff. It was basically inspired intuition - interesting from a historical viewpoint but things have moved on a lot since then. Best not to be confused by some of the misconceptions of the early pioneers, some of which still hang about even now and confuse people eg the so called wave particle duality which was consigned to the dusbin of history when Dirac came up with his transformation theory at the end of 1926. It however still hangs about and confuses people:

    If the history really interests you, and it is indeed interesting, best to study the modern theory first so you have the correct basics in place.

    Here is a synopses of later developments leading up to Diracs transformation theory:

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook