What is the currently accepted model for an atom?

I heard that the Bohr Model is outdated and no longer accepted. The Bohr model is based on the principles that protons and neutrons are in the nucleus, and electrons orbit it at defined circular paths and levels, which change when absorbing or emitting electromagnetic radiation. I was told though that the Bohr model is false, and the true model has the electrons in clouds around the nucleus.

So my question is, how the hell does that work? And is that the current model?

4 Answers

  • 4 years ago
    Favourite answer

    There will never be a "true" model.

    Models are useful when they predict behaviour.

    The problem with the Bohr model is that if an electron is orbiting it is undergoing acceleration.

    When something is accelerating it produces waves.

    These waves cause the orbiting body to lose energy.

    Any model used must somehow take account of this.

    Bohr postulated that the electron was a standing wave. Which means that it CANNOT lose energy unless it can move to another possible state.

    Which would automatically mean that even though accelerated it could not radiate waves.

    The current model of electron clouds is more of a description than an explanation.

    It describes the properties that we know. Just as Kepler described our universe.

    We await further thoughts from the future.

  • 4 years ago

    The electron 'probability cloud' model is not really accurate either. The best model in my humble opinion is the idea that electrons are standing waves that wrap themselves around the atomic nucleus, with higher energy states of the electrons being higher harmonics of the standing waves.

    Source(s): Erwin Schrodinger's model for the atom.
  • 4 years ago

    The image is the currently used model in most cases. Each of those nodes is called an orbital. And each orbital can hold only two electrons max. And the spins for the two must be in opposite directions.

    Attachment image
  • 4 years ago


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