The Circular Model of the Atom is a circular periodic table that shows atomic structure in addition to periodicity. Unlike any other periodic table or model, it demonstrates that the atomic structure has an inherent dipole magnet that create positve and negative fields and elemental qualities at the atomic level.

The Circular Model of the Atom was created by Helen A. Pawlowski in the 1980s, and published in her work, Visualization of the Atom. Her brother, Paul A. Williams extended many of Helen's ideas with his examination of the standard model using Helen's Circular Atom Model. This website contains some of Helen's ideas and Paul's writings.


Binding energy drops off between carbon and nitrogen and silicon and potassium is explained.

The model correctly accounts for the Madelung-rule (or Goudsmit rule).

The model provides an explanation for the lanthanide contraction.




One of the great enigmas in physics today is an understanding of the fine structure constant. It has a value of 1/137.  Feynman calls it, "one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics."  The number is associated with the ability of an electron to emit and absorb radiation.

The capability of an electron to absorb or emit a photon was first measured in the spectral lines of the light elements hydrogen and helium. They had principal quantum number "n" in common, but the introduction of the "l" or azimuthal quantum number caused a shift in the resultant "J" or total angular momentum number. "...the level n, l, splits into the two components, J = l +1/2 & J = l -1/2. This splitting is called fine or multiplet splitting. The dimensionless constant a = e2/h bar c = 1/137 defining the scale of the splitting is called the fine structure constant" [2]. Measurement of the displaced line was approximately -0.08542455.  This amount squared was .0072974, taking the reciprocal resulted in 137. Feynman's footnote illustrates the perplexity as to its meaning: "Immediately you would like to know where this number for a coupling comes from: is it related to pi, or perhaps to the base of natural logarithms? Nobody knows. It's one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man.  You might say the ‘hand of God’ wrote that number, and ‘we don't know how he pushed his pencil.’  We know what kind of a dance to do experimentally to measure this number very accurately, but we don't know what kind of a dance to do on a computer to make this number come out--without putting it in secretly!” [1].

Measurement of the electrons in the most simple elements gave the above reading.  The calculation was based on elements on the inner or n = 1 shell energy level.  What would the result be in a different energy level shell? 

The fine structure spectral splitting gets smaller in the more complex elements. Evidence of this can be seen in the narrowing of the spectral shifts as we move from n = 1, n = 2, n = 3 in the illustration of fine structure splitting. What conclusion can be drawn?  First, that the splitting is caused by an electromagnetic source. Second, as elements get larger the splitting diminishes. If we have an absorption/emission relationship of -0.8542455 on elements on the inner shell with its stronger electromagnetic field, then we should find evidence of more modest coupling with n = 2, n = 3 shells.

Related to this is S. V. Vonsovsky comments on virtual radiation processes, which include electron and photon fields in his book Magnetism of Elementary Particles:

The point is that these processes (i. e. the emission and reabsorption of virtual photons by an electron bound in an atomic orbit), resulting in the Lamb shift, are strongly influenced by the external Coulomb field of the charge of the nucleus. It is for this reason that the experimental verification of the theory of systems with Z much greater than 1 is of special interest.  For the carbon ion 12C5+ (Z = 6) Leventhal and Murnick [Phy. Rev. Lett. 25: 1237 (1970)] found the Lamb Shift is 744 X 103 MHz, whereas according to theory, it should be 738 X 109 MHz.  This discrepancy exceeds all possible errors of experiment.  This is why the authors Leventhal and Murnick are prone to interpret this discrepancy as an indication of some effects in radiation corrections that have not yet been accounted for [4].

In the transmission of energy we have the Heaviside Effect.  The high frequency component and the low frequency component of the wave interfere with each other and destroy the signal.  Therefore devices are installed periodically to synchronize the signal. Why do they get out of phase? It is the difference between the positive and negative segments of the electromagnetic vectors.  Thus the same disparity that is found in the emission and absorption of photon energy of the electron. This results in the basic starting point of the fine structure constant, i.e. -.08542455.

Related asymmetry can be drawn from the superconducting non-stoichiometric compounds forming the ceramic perovskites. These compounds are highly sensitive to chemical formulation in order to generate electron flow.  One of the conditions necessary for superconducting compounds is the need for additional oxygen in non-stoichiometric amounts. "The oxygen deficiency is a critical factor in determining the superconducting properties.  This deficiency is associated with the bonding configuration and valence states of the copper ions that are present" [5].  The amount of additional oxygen needed is in the magnitude of 6 1/2-7%.  The onset of superconductivity occurs when 6 1/2-7% oxygen is added denotes that internal boundary conditions have been satisfied and neutralized as far as influencing the electron. The electrons in the atoms of superconducting compounds absorb and emit energy in the same manner as hydrogen atoms.

What is the difference between the oxygen electrons and hydrogen electron cases? One is on the n = 1 shell and the other is on the n =  2 shell with differing fine structure splitting. As Vonsovsky earlier indicates, the absorption and emission of radiation in electrons is strongly influenced by the Coulomb field. Therefore the electrons emitting and absorbing radiation in the outer shells will have different values than that measured for the 1/137 number on the hydrogen shell. Adjustments have to be made for the field polarity as well as radial distances.

Fine structure splitting is strictly a result of the magnetic field which occurs naturally in the dipole circular model. As an atom becomes larger eventually the dipole magnetic field diminishes in strength and when tested in a magnetic field less splitting will result.

The Circular Model of the Atom portrays a dynamic approach to the atom and it's electrons.  The fine structure constant of the electron thus varies depending upon the particular shell as well as its proximity to the dipole. The absorbing and emitting positive and negative fields are depicted with internal boundaries in the atom in the Circular Model of the Atom.

[1] Feynman, R. P., 1985. QED. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 129.

[2] Sobelman, I., 1972. Introduction ot the Theory of Atomic Spectra. New York: Pergamum, p. 16.

[3] Feynman, R. P., 1985. QED. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 129.

[4] Vonsovsky, S. V., 1975. Magnetism of Elementary Particles. Moscow: Mir, p. 151.

[5] Poole, C., Datta, T., & Farach, H., 1988. Copper Oxide Superconductors. New York: John Wiley & Sons, pp. 109-110.




1. Atoms are dipole magnets at the atomic level.

2. Demonstrates Hund's half filled shells, electron tunneling, and a visulalizable aufbau buildup of the elements.

3. Visual explanation of Anomalous Zeeman Effect.

4. Strong and weak patterns revealed.

5. Lanthanide contraction is explained.

6. Provides a visual basis for ferromagenetism, paramagnetism and antiferromagnetism.