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How did Schrodinger's model improve Bohr's model?

  1. Oct 29, 2012 #1
    Can anyone think of two distinct ways which the Schrodinger model of the atom improves upon the Bohr model of the Atom? I think the two reasons are that quantization emerges naturally from Schrodinger's equation by boundary confinements while Bohr just assumed quanitization. The other improvement is the replacement of the circular orbits with orbitals which give a probability of finding an electron. The only problem I see with my first reason is that it is not directly related to the Schrodinger model; rather it is because of his equation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2012 #2
    The most important difference is that the Schrodinger model is a much more general theory. It's a quantum mechanics that can be used to explain new problems (barrier penetration, analytical solutions to other 1-dimensional problems, band gaps in semi-conductors, etc.) in the process of explaining the special case that was the hydrogen atom and its spectrum. It's significantly less ad hoc than the earlier Bohr model of the atom.

    A better theory usually leads to more ability to explain problems far from the problem from which the theory was developed. This is certainly one of those cases. Simply put, we gain a much better understanding of the natural world under the Schrodinger model than we do under the Bohr model.
  4. Oct 29, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    The Bohr model predicts that the orbital angular momentum of the ground state of hydrogen is ##\hbar##. Schrödinger's model predicts that it's zero. Guess which one is correct experimentally.
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