Niels Bohr (7 October, 1885-18 November,1962)

Timeline created by hccheshire
  • Birth

    Niels Bohr was born on 7 October, 1885. He was the son of Christian and Ellen, and was the middle of three siblings. Niels was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. Interesting fact was his father was nominated for two Nobel Peace Prizes while at the University of Copenhagen.
  • Doctorate

    Bohr earned his doctorate in physics. He wrote his dissertation on electron theory of metals. This theory is what is accepted today to describe electricity, and how the electrons within an atomic particle interact.
  • Bohr's Atomic Model

    Bohr's Atomic Model
    Bohr's first major contribution to the scientific community was the atomic model. This model was used in quantum physics to account for ever increasing experimental data starting with the spectral line series emitted by hydrogen.
  • Nobel Prize

    Nobel Prize
    Bohr earned the Nobel Prize for quantum physics. He did so by using his own atomic model to add electrons to atoms in the periodic table. One year later (1923) physical chemist Georg Hevesy and physicist Dirk Coster would confirm his theory and create the new atomic element 72, Hafnium which is Latin for Copenhagen. This discovery influences physics even today.
  • Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

    Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
    During the academic year of 1926-27, Bohr and his colleagues developed the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics which was contradictory to the "old quantum theory". A phenomenon expresses itself differently depending on the experimental setup used to observe it. Shockingly Albert Einstein never believed in the theory saying "God does not play dice". They had a discussion onthe topic in 1927 and 1930 at the Solvay Conferences, and became one of the most inspired discussions in physics.
  • Bohr -vs- Einstein

    Attached is a link to Britannica, with a short video on the differences and disagreements between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein.
  • Cyclotron

    Bohr decided to build a cyclotron to study nuclear physics. This study would also allow him to see the organic particles making it possible to extend the radioactive indicator method, and be used for biological purposes. He gained the support from the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as, funds and equipment from other Danish sources.
  • Splitting the Atom

    Splitting the Atom
    German physicists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann made the discovery of splitting a Uranium atom into two equal halves by exposing it to extra neutrons. This was based on Bohr's theory of the compound nucleus.
  • World War II

    World War II
    During World War II, Bohr was sent a secret message alluding to work on an atom bomb, where he said it was not feasible until well after the war. He later fled from occupied Denmark, and received a similar letter where he had heard of German work on a similar project, and decided to help. He joined an Allied research team which also included his 21 year old son, Aage.
  • The Atomic Bomb

    The Atomic Bomb
    After Joining the Allied research team Bohr, began to work at Los Alamos in New Mexico for several weeks at a time. His biggest contribution was to the initiator for the Plutonium bomb. He was also hailed as "as a scientific father confessor to the younger men" by Robert Oppenheimer.
  • Post War

    Bohr wrote a letter to the United Nations essentially notifying them of the work he had done. He returned home to Denmark, and was greeted as a war hero. Bohr went on to establish nuclear power for Denmark, as well as helping in the establishment of (CERN) Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire and Nordic Institute for Atomic Physics (Nordita).
  • Death

    Niels Bohr left behind a legacy to the scientific community that is unsurpassed. The contributions made have spanned generations, and influence daily lives to this day. The Bohr's Institute is still one of the leading centers for theoretical physics research in the world.