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Neils Bohr, October 1885 - November 1962

  • Lord Rayleigh's Water Tension Theory

    Niels Bohr participated in a competition sponsored by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters to test a method of finding surface tension in liquids. During this test, Bohr made much of his own glassware and used his father's lab as the university did not have one. In the end he had improved Rayleigh's theory by considering the viscosity of the liquids. The paper he wrote on this won and a refined version was published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
  • A visit in Copenhagen

    In 1941, Bohr received a visit from Werner Heisenberg, a fellow nuclear scientist. Heisenberg also happened to be the head of the German Nuclear Energy Project. The addition Bohr made during this meeting may actually be what he did not contribute to the conversation. According to Heisenberg's testimony, he tried to discuss nuclear energy, morality and the war but was promptly shut out as Bohr ended the conversation. There is dispute that Heisenberg was attempting to use Bohr to broker peace.
  • Making the Manhattan Project whole

    In 1945 Bohr was in the United States, assisting many scientists with the greatest nuclear project to date. One that still causes ripples to this day. While he is quoted saying "They did not need my help in making the atom bomb.", fellow scientist Robert Oppenheimer credits him with work that made the modulated neutron initiators possible. This device acted as an ignition or primer for the atom bomb and Oppenheimer described it as a puzzle that Bohr had solved.
  • Contributions to Modern Nuclear Science

    In 1950, Bohr's beliefs, though found questionable by several global powers, came to a climax as he petitioned to the United Nations via letter. What he called for was nothing less than cooperation on a global basis in reference to nuclear energy. Something that several world leaders considered having him locked up or kept under watch over. By 1957 a United Nations agency had been put into place for nuclear energy and he won the very first Atoms For Peace award.