# Classical Physics and the Bohr Model of Hydrogen Atom

• jstrike
In summary, the conversation discusses how classical physics applied to the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom predicts continuous emission of light, but transitions between energy levels with small quantum numbers would align with the classical viewpoint. It is also mentioned that a system with multiple energy transitions would result in a smooth blackbody spectrum. Options A, B, C, and D are given to identify which energy levels would come close to the classical viewpoint, with the correct answer being A.
jstrike

## Homework Statement

Classical physics applied to the bohr model of the hydrogen atom would predict that light could be emitted continuously, rather than in discrete chunks of energy. Transitions between what kinds of energy levels would come close to the classical viewpoint?

A. Only levels having small quantum numbers.
B. Only when at least one of the levels has a very large quantum number.
C. Only levels of moderate quantum numbers.
D. There are no such levels.

## The Attempt at a Solution

Have no idea what it is

Think of it like this: a blackbody spectrum is what you get when there are a bunch of different energy transitions that could be made.

A hydrogen atom in the n=2 (princple q#) state has (basically) only one transition with only one possible energy, the Lyman-alpha line. Clearly this one line isn't a nice smooth blackbody spectrum. For a blackbody spectrum, you want a system that isn't constrained to only one or a few transitions, you want something with possible transitions of all different energies.

I can provide some clarification on the concepts of classical physics and the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom. Classical physics is a theory that describes the behavior of macroscopic objects, such as those we can see and interact with in our everyday lives. It is based on the laws of mechanics, such as Newton's laws of motion, and does not take into account the principles of quantum mechanics.

On the other hand, the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom is a quantum mechanical model that describes the behavior of electrons in the hydrogen atom. It was proposed by Niels Bohr in 1913 and is based on the idea that electrons can only exist in certain discrete energy levels around the nucleus of the atom.

Now, to answer the question, the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom deviates from classical physics in the sense that it predicts that electrons can only transition between energy levels in discrete steps, rather than continuously. This means that there are no intermediate energy levels that an electron can occupy, and therefore, the answer to the question is option D - there are no levels that come close to the classical viewpoint.

In other words, classical physics predicts that electrons should be able to transition between energy levels continuously, but the Bohr model shows that this is not the case for the hydrogen atom. Only transitions between specific energy levels are allowed, and these correspond to specific wavelengths of light being emitted or absorbed. This is in line with the principles of quantum mechanics, which state that energy is not continuous, but rather, it is quantized.

In conclusion, while classical physics and the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom may have some similarities, they also have significant differences, particularly in the way they explain the behavior of electrons in the atom. It is important to understand and recognize these differences in order to have a more complete understanding of the physical world around us.

## What is classical physics?

Classical physics is the branch of physics that deals with the laws of motion and the behavior of macroscopic objects, such as those we can see and touch in our everyday lives.

## What is the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom?

The Bohr model of the hydrogen atom is a simplified representation of the atom that was proposed by Danish physicist Niels Bohr in 1913. It states that the electron orbits the nucleus in specific energy levels, and can only transition between these levels by absorbing or emitting specific amounts of energy.

## What is the significance of the Bohr model?

The Bohr model was significant because it was the first successful attempt to explain the spectral lines of hydrogen, which had previously been a mystery. It also laid the foundation for the development of quantum mechanics and our understanding of the atom.

## How does the Bohr model differ from modern atomic theory?

The Bohr model is a simplified version of atomic theory and does not account for the full complexity of atomic behavior. Modern atomic theory, based on quantum mechanics, takes into account the wave-like nature of particles and their probabilistic behavior, whereas the Bohr model treats electrons as particles with definite orbits.

## What are the limitations of the Bohr model?

The Bohr model is limited in its ability to explain the behavior of more complex atoms and molecules. It also does not account for the concept of electron spin, and cannot fully explain the fine structure of spectral lines. Additionally, it does not take into account the effects of relativity, which are important at high speeds and energies.

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