Niels Bohr: October 10th, 1885 - November 18th 1962

  • Quantum Theory

    Quantum Theory
    Bohr is considered one of the founding fathers of quantum theory. He proposed that particles don’t exist in a certain place and a certain time but exist in a haze of probability. His theory was that quantum particles were fundamentally probabilistic. This changed the thinking process physicists used when observing quantum particles.
  • The Bohr Model

    The Bohr Model
    Niels Bohr theorized that electrons were in orbits around the nucleus that depended on the energy the electron had. The electron couldn’t exist between two orbits, it had to be one or the other, no in between. Bohr also found that the number of electrons in the outermost orbital layer affects the reactivity of atoms and atoms with the same number of electrons in the outer shell have the same properties. This discovery allowed scientists to predict properties of atoms we haven’t discovered yet.
  • Complementarity

    Niels Bhor was doing research on the electron and found if someone tried to prove that an electron was a wave then it would act as a wave but if they tried to prove it to be a particle then it would act as a particle. Bohr’s solution to this contradiction was that the electron must be studied as both a wave and a particle separately in order to be understood, which he called complementarity. This changed the philosophy of physics because it let theories like wave-particle duality to be accepted.
  • Designing the Atomic Bomb

    Designing the Atomic Bomb
    Bohr knew of the discovery of nuclear fission and thought the creation of a nuclear bomb wouldn’t be possible so even though he was recruited to help with designing one, he declined until fall of 1943 when he was briefed on the progress the allies had made. Once a part of the Manhattan Project, he had significant design changes to the initiator of the plutonium bomb. After the war he tried to convince the allied powers to inform the soviet union of the bomb in order to avoid an arms race.