Animator Flash Point #1: The Bohr Model

October 2, 2017
Flash PointsJulia Winter

Animator Flash Point: The Bohr Model

If you missed our first post introducing Animator Flash Points, check that out here.

Teaching the Bohr Model with Spectroscopy

I really enjoyed teaching the historical development of atomic theory, and helping students grasp how one atomic model may work for certain observable phenomena but not for others. By layering in the progression from Rutherford to modern quantum theory, students can start to appreciate that science is never really “settled.”

Relating the Bohr model to measured data from a spectroscope was one of our lab experiments. With many chemistry classes doing an Atoms First curriculum, this activity can occur early in the school year.

Spectroscopy emission line spectrum hydrogen

Bohr Model Flash Point Prompt

This Flash Point exercise is to construct an animation to show how the Bohr Model can be used to explain different ideas relating to emission line spectrum of hydrogen.

In this exercise you are given different particles: an electron and different photons, matching the colors of the hydrogen spectrum and labeled infrared, visible, and ultraviolet. You can also make any other colored photons using the particle generator in the app.

To join the Bohr Model Group and access this template, use this Group Code: bohr_model

When you're finished, save your animation to the Bohr Model group on the cloud sharing platform. See our last post to get access to our cloud sharing platform

Bohr model

Example questions:

1)      How does this model predict the observed spectral lines?

2)      What are the transitions that occur in the visible range?

3)      What kind of energy is needed for different transitions?

4)      What are the limitations of this model for the atom?

Here’s an example of an Animation I made with Greg Miller, an AP chemistry teacher in Michigan:


When we created Animator, we intended it to be a discussion-based learning tool - so students could work together to create the moving images of chemistry, much like Greg and I did when we tried out the Bohr model activity. We changed the animation together from the electron absorbing the photon, to having the photon pass through the electron.

Make sure you've saved your finished Animation to the Bohr Model group on the Animator cloud platform, and be sure to check out some of our previous posts on Animator here! 

Stay tuned for the next Animator Flash Point.

Co- Author

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