Niels Bohr

  • Birth

    Niels Bohr was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to physiologist Christian Bohr and his wife Ellen who comes from a distinguished family in the educational field (Aaserud).
  • Copenhagen University

    Neils began college under the guidance of the highly endowed physicist Professor C. Christiansen where he went on to win awards for solving problems regarding surface tension of oscillating fluid jets. Later Bohr would study theories and found explanations of the properties of metals by using the electron theory (Aaserud). With this work Bohr realized the implications of the quantum theory of radiation
  • Atomic Model

    Niels Bohr first discovered that electrons travel in different orbits and the number of electrons in the outer orbit determine the properties of a specific element(Peterson).
  • Nobel Prize

    In 1922, Niels was awarded a Nobel prize for his work of the atomic model. According to, Bohr also contributed to the clarification of the problems in quantum physics by developing the concept of complementarity. He showed how deeply the changes in the field of physics have affected fundamental features of our scientific outlook and how the consequences of this change of attitude reach far beyond the scope of atomic physics and touch upon all domains of human knowledge.
  • German Occupation of Denmark

    After Nazi Germany invaded Denmark, Niels fled the country by boat with his family to Sweden. There he was invited to England to work on the Allied atomic bomb project and accepted. Later he went to the United States to work on the Manhattan Project which developed the first atomic bomb.
  • Atomic Bomb

    Fearing for the security of the world at the hands of Nazi Germany, who already began nuclear weapons research Bohr joined the Manhattan Project in the U.S. in hopes the Germans could be stopped from rising to world power. His primary focus was to prevent a nuclear arms race by openly sharing nuclear information. Instead, the United States used the Manhattan Project to force the surrender of Japan by bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
  • Post War

    The Atomic Bombs dropping marked the end of WW2. Neils son Aage said his father "deplored the spirit in which the bomb had been used". He returned to Denmark and was greeted as the hero who ended the war for his work in the invention of the atomic bomb.

    Twelve European countries banded together to create CERN, a nuclear research facility. Niels offered his support of the project and also aided in the establishment of the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics in 1957. Both facilities are operating today.
  • Death

    Along with the creation of CERN and NORDITA. Niels organized the first Atoms for Peace conference, was elected President of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and also was awarded the Order of the Elephant from Frederick IX. Niels passed away in his home in Copenhagen on November 18th, 1962 at 77 years old.