Niels Bohr, 1885-1962

Timeline created by LaneRichardson
  • Bohr's Model of the Atom

    Bohr's Model of the Atom
    Niels Bohr is best known for his work in atomic physics as well as his postulates. Expanding upon and improving the work of Ernest Rutherford's hypothesis of atomic structure, he proposed the Bohr model of the atom. Using this model, Bohr contradicted classical electromagnetism and its effects on atoms, and calculated the lowest possible orbit an electron could obtain. (Here's a video explaining Bohr's model and his postulates.)
  • Professorship

    In 1916 Bohr was appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at Copenhagen University where he would remain teaching for the rest of his life. He held physics-related lectures at Victoria University in Manchester and also at Copenhagen University prior to being appointed professor.
  • Complementarity

    In one of Bohr's lectures at Copenhagen University, he spoke about complementarity wherein he hypothesized that certain objects and particles have pairs of properties which are innately related but cannot be observed together (very similar to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle). Later in his life he suggested that complementarity could possibly answer matters in all aspects of life outside of physics, such as in mind-body dualism (Nobel).
  • The Atomic Bomb

    The Atomic Bomb
    Bohr was instrumental in the construction of the first atomic bomb in the Manhattan Project. While he believed that it was possible to build an atomic bomb, he was uncertain of what effect it would have on humanity. Consequently, at the end of the project "he devoted his work to the peaceful application of atomic physics and to political problems arising from the development of atomic weapons" (Nobel).
  • Death

    Molecular biology had be of great interest to Bohr in his last few years of life. He wrote many of his thoughts on the concepts of life in his article "Light and Life revisited," including evolution, the brain and mind, free will and consciousness, as well as quantum mechanics. He died in Copenhagen November 18, 1962.