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Referee Report

Referee Report

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Published by Ingenioeren
Anonym ‘referee report’ dateret 5. april 1913, omhandlende Niels Bohrs artikel til Philosophical Magazine i juli 1913 'On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules'
Anonym ‘referee report’ dateret 5. april 1913, omhandlende Niels Bohrs artikel til Philosophical Magazine i juli 1913 'On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules'

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Published by: Ingenioeren on Jun 13, 2013
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Copyright 
2013,TomasBohrandBennyLautrup 
Refereereport[anonymous
Author:N.Bohr Title:Dr.philAliation:Copenhagen,DenmarManuscript:OntheConstitutionofAtomsandMoleculeSubmitted:April5,1913 Thestructureoftheatomhasinrecentyearsbeenthesubjectoconsiderableinterest.InthetheoreticalmodelproposedbyJ.J. Thomson[Phil.Mag.vii,p.237(1904)],theatomisseenasringsof circulatingnegativelychargedelectronssituatedinsideauniformlydistributedpositivelychargedsphere.Inthepresentarticle,thauthorintroducesaKeplerianplanetarymodeloftheatominwhicthenegativelychargedelectronscirclearoundapositivelycharged 
nucleus 
.ThismodelisinspiredbytherecentdiscoveriesbyRutherfordandcollaboratorsonscatteringof 
α
-particlesthroughlarge angles,whichdemonstratethatmattermustcontainextremelysmalanddenseelectricallychargedobjectsAsLarmorshowedin1897,anacceleratedelectricallychargeparticlewillalwaysemitelectromagneticradiation.Intheplane- tarymodel,theenergyofthisradiationcanonlybetakenfromthe electron,whichthereforecontinuouslyspiralsinwardsuntilitmerges withthenucleus.TheconclusionisthattheplanetaryatommusbeunstablefromtheoutsetButinsteadofrejectingthismodel,theauthordaringlypostu- latesthattheundisturbedelectroncanremaininasetofdiscretorbits,calledstationarystates,withoutemissionofelectromagnetiradiation,andthatatransitionoftheelectronbetweentwosuchorbitsisaccompaniedbyemissionofasinglePlanckenergyquantum carryingthedierenceintheelectron'sbindingenergiesinthesorbits.Alargepartofthepaperpresentsargumentsforthebasiassumptionthatthefrequenciesofthespectrallinesaredetermined, notbycorrespondingmechanicalfrequenciesofthesystem,butby 
dierences 
inenergiesbetweenthestationarystates.Thisassump- tionisinstarkcontrasttoordinaryelectrodynamics,buttheauthor showsthatitcanaccountforthediscretespectrallinesofthesubstancesandthatitdoesnotcontradictordinaryelectrodynamicsicaseswherethatisknowntowork,suchasthetreatmentofatominhighlyexcitedstatesorfreeelectrons
 
Copyright 
2013,TomasBohrandBennyLautrup 
Thecrucialresultinfavourofthepresentatomicmodelisthe derivationofamathematicalrelationforthetransitionsbetweethediscretenon-radiatingatomicelectronorbitsandthepreciselknowndiscretelinespectraoftheelements,inparticularforhy- drogen.TheauthorthusestablishesarelationbetweentheBalmerRydbergconstantandthefundamentalnaturalconstants,i.e.,the charge 
e
andmas
m
oftheelectron,andthequantumofaction 
h
introducedbyPlanck.Inaddition,hepredictsseveralnewspectral linesinhydrogenand,mostimportantly,thatthelinesobservedby Pickeringinthespectrumofthestar 
ζ 
Puppis,andascribedtohy- drogen,do 
no
derivefromhydrogenbutfromionizedhelium.Thiseemssomewhatunlikelyinthelightoftheexistingexperimental evidencesincetheselineshavesofarnotbeenseeninthehelium spectrum.Itis,however,anissuethatcanbesettledbyexperimentanditmustbeexpectedthatthepublicationofthepresentpapewillsoonleadtosuchexperimentsThenewpostulatesputforwardbytheauthorintroducediscret(i.e.integer)numbersintootherwisecontinuousmechanicalsysteminaquiteunexpectedway.Theauthorusesthisqualitativefeature ofthetheorytoargue(p.14,bottom)thatonemightexpectan absoluteagreementbetweenthevaluescalculated...andnotonlanapproximateagreement.Thisisastrongclaimwithfar-reaching consequencesrelatedtotheexactidentityoftwosystemsinthesamstationarystate,suchastwohydrogenatomsinthepermanentstatewhichiscompletelyforeigntoordinarymechanicsTheassumptionsmadebytheauthorareveryradicalanditihardatpresenttojudgetheirvalidity.Theauthordoesnottrtoconcealthisfact,butwritesexplicitly(p.15,top)thatthereobviouslycanbenoquestionofamechanicalfoundationofthe calculationsgiveninthispaperandfurther(p.15,afewlinesbelowusesthewordsymbolabouttheangularmomentumtoemphasizthatitsmeaningmightnotbefullyinagreementwithourpresent dynamicsInspiteoftheradicalviewspresentedhere-postulatingabreak- downofNewton'smechanicsandrelatingittoPlanck'smodication ofMaxwell'selectromagnetism-itisrecommendedthatthispaper shouldbepublished,becauseofitsconcretenumericresultsand itscarefullyreasonedtheoreticalanalysis.Althoughthevalidityof thetheoreticalfoundationsishardtoassessatpresent,thepape
 
Copyright 
2013,TomasBohrandBennyLautrup 
containsanumberofprecisepredictions,whichcanbetestedby experimentandmayquicklydetermine,whetherthepathchosenby theauthorisafruitfulone. Beforepublicationtheauthoris,however,askedtoconsiderthe followingcomments,whichmightleadtosomerevisionsinthepa- per.Inthisspirititispointedoutthattheauthorhasnotgivencompletealiation.Istherefereecorrectinassumingthatitshoulb
DenPolytekniskeLæreanstal
Questionsandcommentstotheautho
p.1(top)
Theauthorclaimsthattheatomconsistsofapositivelychargednucleussurroundedbyasystemofelectronskept togetherbyattractiveforcesfromthenucleus,citingE.Rutherfor[Phil.Mag.xxi,p.669(1911)].InthisarticleRutherfordexplicitlemphasisesthathisexperimentdoesnotdeterminethesignofthe centralcharge.Neitherdoesheusethewordnucleustodenotethe objectcarryingthecentralcharge.IntherecentarticlebyGeigeandMarsden(1913),alsocitedbytheauthor,itislikewiseexplicitlstatedthatthesignofthecentralchargehasnotbeendetermined. Themodelpresentedinthepresentpaperappearstoreectthe author'sownviewsonthestructureoftheatom
p.4(bottom)
Toarriveatthestationarystates,theauthorwrites:Letusnowassumethat,duringthebindingoftheelectronhomogeneousradiationisemittedofafrequenc
ν 
,equaltohalfthe frequencyofrevolutionoftheelectroninitsnalorbit.Thisisveryabruptintroductionofaveryspecic,andseeminglyarbitrary, assumptionofgreatconsequence.Itisslightlyconfusingsinceone oftheauthor'skeypointsisthatthefrequencyoftheemittedra- diationi
no
givenbyadynamicalfrequencyinthesystem.The authorelaboratesonthisissueseveraltimeslater,andshouldcon- siderintroducingsomeofthematerialfrom3alreadyatthisplacetherebymotivatingthepostulatedformofEq.(2)better
p.5(middle)
Itisclaimedthatthenon-radiatingatomicstatearestationaryaslongasthesystemisnotdisturbedfromoutside.Ifthiswererigorouslytrueforeventhemostdistantelectron 

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