(October 7, 1885 – November 18, 1962)
Niels Bohr is one of Ernest Rutherford’s most famous students; and like his former tutor, a prolific researcher. He collaborated with many greats, such as: Joseph John Thomson, Max Planck, James Chadwick and Werner Heisenberg. He also mentored a lot more, including Hans Kramers and Lev Landau. After Rutherford explained atomic structures with his model, Bohr refined it with Planck’s Quantum Theory. He had earlier noticed that Rutherford’s idea left the question of atomic stability unanswered. By applying classical laws, he rectified it. (Those laws hinted that the electrons orbiting the nucleus will either dissipate energy, spiral down to the nucleus, and cause structural collapse of the atom; or that they could be forced out of position if other charge particles are introduced near them). He also devised solution, which showed that the ratio of energy in the electrons and the frequency of their orbits around the nucleus were equal to the value of Planck’s constant. This led him to suggest that when atoms absorb or dissipate energy, the orbiting electrons migrate to higher or lower energy levels (which are depicted as their positional orbits). When he published his findings in 1913, many scientists who were still grappling with quantum theory found it hard to comprehend. Although his findings were themselves later refined, they were paramount in the establishment of Quantum Mechanics. Niels Bohr received many awards and prizes in his lifetime. Several posthumous honors have been added to that: including the Bohr lunar crater and the 3948 Bohr asteroid.