What Supports Bohr’s Theory of Atomic Orbitals?


Vincent White

Bohr’s Theory of Atomic Orbitals is a fundamental concept in the field of atomic physics. It explains the arrangement of electrons in an atom and how they move in orbits around the nucleus.

The theory was proposed by Danish physicist Niels Bohr in 1913, and it has been widely accepted ever since. In this article, we will explore the evidence that supports Bohr’s Theory of Atomic Orbitals.

The basics of Bohr’s Theory

Bohr’s theory states that electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom in fixed energy levels or shells. Each shell can hold a specific number of electrons, and when an electron gains or loses energy, it can move to another shell. The amount of energy required to move an electron from one shell to another is known as a quantum.

The evidence for Bohr’s Theory

There are several lines of evidence that support Bohr’s theory:

1) Spectral lines

When atoms are heated, they emit light at specific frequencies. These frequencies create a distinctive pattern of lines known as a spectrum. The spectral lines produced by each element are unique and can be used to identify the element.

Bohr was able to explain these spectral lines using his theory. He proposed that electrons emit or absorb energy when they move between energy levels. This energy is emitted as light at a specific frequency that corresponds to the difference in energy between the two levels.

2) Hydrogen Atom

Bohr’s theory was initially developed to explain the behavior of hydrogen atoms. Hydrogen has only one electron, making it simpler to study than more complex atoms.

By applying his theory to hydrogen, Bohr was able to predict the wavelengths of light emitted by hydrogen atoms accurately. This prediction matched with experimental results obtained later.

3) X-ray Spectroscopy

X-ray spectroscopy is a technique used to study the structure of atoms. It involves firing X-rays at an atom and measuring the energy of the X-rays that are scattered back.

The results of X-ray spectroscopy support Bohr’s theory. They show that electrons are arranged in shells around the nucleus, and that each shell can hold only a specific number of electrons.

4) Atomic Size

The size of an atom is determined by the distance between the nucleus and its outermost electron shell. According to Bohr’s theory, electrons in the same shell have similar energy levels, so they occupy a similar distance from the nucleus.

The sizes of atoms calculated using Bohr’s theory match well with experimental measurements.


In conclusion, Bohr’s Theory of Atomic Orbitals has been supported by numerous experiments and observations over the years. The theory has helped us understand how electrons move around atoms and how they emit or absorb energy. The evidence supporting Bohr’s theory is so strong that it continues to be widely accepted today as a fundamental concept in atomic physics.