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Unformatted text preview: Einstein's early contributions to quantum theory include his heuristic suggestion that light behaves as if it is composed of photons, and his exploration of the quantum structure of the mechanical energies of particles embedded in matter. In 1909, he introduced what was later called the wave-particle duality, the idea that the wave theory of light had to be supplemented by an equally valid yet contradictory quantum theory of light as discrete particles. Many of Einstein's quantum ideas were incorporated into a new model of the atom developed by the Danish physicist Niels Bohr in the first decades of the century. Bohr explained that electrons occupy only certain well-defined orbits around a dense nucleus of protons and neutrons. He showed that by absorbing a discrete quantum of energy, an electron can jump from one orbit to another. In 1916, discrete quantum of energy, an electron can jump from one orbit to another....
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- Fall '09
- physicist Niels Bohr