What Are the Main Points of Bohr’s Atomic Theory?


Vincent White

Bohr’s Atomic Theory is one of the most significant contributions to the field of Physics. This theory was developed by the Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, in 1913.

It provided a new understanding of the atomic structure and explained why atoms emit and absorb electromagnetic radiation at specific wavelengths. In this article, we will explore the main points of Bohr’s Atomic Theory.

Atomic Structure

Bohr’s Atomic Theory is based on the idea that an atom consists of a small, positively charged nucleus at the center and negatively charged electrons orbiting around it in fixed energy levels or shells. The electrons closest to the nucleus have lower energy levels than those farther away.

Energy Levels

According to Bohr’s theory, electrons can only exist in certain energy levels or shells around the nucleus. These energy levels are quantized, meaning that they come in discrete values rather than being continuous. Electrons can move between these energy levels by either absorbing or emitting radiation with specific frequencies.

Emission Spectra

Bohr’s theory also explains why atoms emit light in specific wavelengths when they are excited by external sources such as heat or electricity. When an electron absorbs energy, it moves to a higher energy level. However, it cannot remain in this state indefinitely and must eventually return to its original lower energy level by emitting a photon with a specific wavelength.

The Hydrogen Atom

One of the most significant applications of Bohr’s Atomic Theory was its explanation of the structure of hydrogen atoms. According to Bohr’s theory, hydrogen atoms have only one electron orbiting around their nucleus. The electron can exist only in certain quantized energy states that determine its distance from the nucleus.

Rydberg Formula

Bohr’s theory also led to the development of Rydberg formula which predicts the wavelengths of light emitted by hydrogen atoms. This formula is used to calculate the energy levels of hydrogen and other atoms.

Limitations of Bohr’s Atomic Theory

While Bohr’s Atomic Theory was groundbreaking, it had some limitations. For instance, it only works for one-electron systems like hydrogen.

It cannot explain the behavior of more complex atoms with multiple electrons. Additionally, Bohr’s theory does not account for the effects of quantum mechanics on atomic structure.


Bohr’s Atomic Theory revolutionized our understanding of atomic structure and provided a foundation for further research in the field of quantum mechanics. While it has its limitations, this theory remains an essential concept in modern physics.