Advertisement

 Niels Bohr

Advertisement

Niels Bohr

Birth
Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Kommune, Hovedstaden, Denmark
Death 18 Nov 1962 (aged 77)
Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Kommune, Hovedstaden, Denmark
Burial Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Kommune, Hovedstaden, Denmark
Memorial ID 8735 View Source
Suggest Edits

Nobel Prize in Physics Recipient. Dr. Bohr received world-wide recognition as a Danish scientist, receiving the 1922 Nobel Prize. He was the son of Christian Bohr, an outstanding academia in physiology and Ellen Adler, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish banker. Even at a young age, he was a bright student, and during his last two years of secondary school, focused on physics and mathematics. Evidence suggests that his mathematics teacher soon realized that he did not know the material as well as young Bohr did, and that this frightened the teacher. In his physics class he would read ahead in the assigned textbooks, sometimes finding errors and mistakes in them. In 1903 he entered the University of Copenhagen, majoring in physics and minoring in mathematics, chemistry, and astronomy. Since there was no physics laboratory at the university, he had to perform his experiments in his father's physiology laboratory. The first physics paper he wrote while at the university was based on an experiment conducted in this laboratory which analyzed the vibrations of water jets to determine surface tension. For this research, he was the Gold Medal recipient from the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences in 1906, and was first published in the "Transactions of the Royal Society" in 1908. Three years later he earned his Master's Degree, and in 1911 he earned his doctorate for the thesis "Studies on the Electron Theory of Metals." On August 1, 1912 he married Margrethe Norlund. He traveled to England to do experimental work at Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, and work with Professor Ernest Rutherford in Manchester, who was conducting experiments on atoms. After doing a lectureship in Copenhagen, he held a similar position from 1916 to 1917 at the Victoria University in Manchester. In 1917 he was elected to the Danish Academy of Sciences, at which point he began planning an Institute of Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen. This idea came to fruition in 1921, whereupon he became the director of the facility for the rest of his life. In 1922 Bohr received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum physics, radiation, and atomic structures. Besides the research that earned him the Nobel Prize, his research included a theoretical description of the periodic table in 1920; his theory that the atomic nucleus is a compound structure in 1936; and his understanding of uranium fission as related to isotope 235 in 1939. When the Nazi Forces invaded Denmark in 1940, Bohr's life became increasingly difficult. Although he had been baptized in the Christian faith, his mother's ancestry of being Jewish could cause him and his family harm. He and his family were among the Danes escaping to Sweden in fishing boats on the eve before the planned Nazi deportation on Friday, October 1, 1943 of all Jews to concentration camps. Once reaching Sweden safely, Bohr flew to England, where he began researching on a project to create a nuclear fission bomb. Several months later, he and the rest of the British research team departed for Los Alamos, New Mexico in the United States to assist in the Manhattan Project . Even though he was working on this project to develop the nuclear fission bomb, Bohr was gravely concerned about its power and potential impact, and from 1944, he attempted to convince British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and United States President Roosevelt that international cooperation was very important. In his " Open Letter to the United Nations" dated June 9, 1950, he argued for peaceful and rational policies in regards to atomic power and the bomb. For his work on behalf of this cause, he was awarded the first United States. Atoms for Peace Award in 1957. Besides this award and the Nobel Prize, he was the recipient of the Hughes Medal in 1921 from the Royal Society in London, the Matteucci Medal in 1923from the Italian Society of Sciences, the Franklin Medal in 1926 from the Franklin Institute in the United States, the Copley Medal in 1938 from the Royal Society in England, the Order of the Elephant in 1947 from Norway, and the Sonning Prize in 1961 from Denmark. He published hundreds of articles, which have been collected and published in three volumes. He died of a heart attack at home at the age of seventy-seven. His brother, Harald Bohr, became a well-known mathematician; his son, Aage Niels Bohr, was the 1975 Nobel Prize recipient; and his father, Christian Bohr, was nominated in 1907 and twice in 1908 for the Nobel Prize.

Bio by: Carrie-Anne


Family Members

Spouse
Siblings
Children

Flowers

In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Niels Bohr?

Current rating:

108 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 6 Mar 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8735
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/8735/niels-bohr : accessed ), memorial page for Niels Bohr (7 Oct 1885–18 Nov 1962), Find a Grave Memorial ID 8735, citing Assistens Cemetery, Copenhagen, Kobenhavns Kommune, Hovedstaden, Denmark ; Maintained by Find a Grave .