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Lab-Created Giant Atom Goes Classical 1 July 2008 Lab-Created Giant Atom Goes Classical by Kate Melville Physicists at Rice University have succeeded in getting an electron to behave in a classical manner rather than occupy the quantum states that it would usually inhabit. The giant millimeter-sized atom with a single electron orbiting it effectively realizes Danish physicist Niels Bohr's planet-like model of the hydrogen atom. Bohr offered the first successful theoretical model of the atom in 1913, suggesting that electrons traveled in orbits around the atom's nucleus like planets orbiting a star. Bohr's model led to a deeper understanding of both the chemical and optical properties of atoms and won him a Nobel Prize in 1922.