Niels Henrik David Bohr

Timeline created by zach.luther
  • Birth

    Bohr was the second of three children born into an upper middle-class Copenhagen family. His mother, Ellen (née Adler), was the daughter of a prominent Jewish banker. Reference:
    Aaserud, Finn. “Niels Bohr.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 14 Nov. 2019,
  • The Copenhagen interpretation

    The Copenhagen interpretation
    The Copenhagen interpretation was first posed by Bohr in 1920. It states "a quantum particle doesn't exist in one state or another, but in all of its possible states at once. It's only when we observe its state that a quantum particle is essentially forced to choose one probability." Reference:
    Clark, Josh. “How Quantum Suicide Works.” How Stuff Works Science, 27 Jan. 2020,
  • Wins Nobel Prize

    Wins Nobel Prize
    Bohr received the 1922 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on atomic structures. His theory asserted that physical properties on an atomic level would be viewed differently depending on experimental parameters, hence explaining why light could be seen as both a particle and a wave, though never both at the same time. Reference:
    “Niels Bohr.”, A&E Networks Television, 26 July 2019,
  • Complementarity Philosophy

    During the "Como Lecture" of 1927, Bohr introduced the concept of "complementarity". The concept of complementarity revolves around competing hypothesis and simultaneous testing, or in other words, observational tests cannot simultaneously measure incompatible theories. Reference:
    da Costa, Newton C.A., and Decio Krause. “The Logic of Complementarity.” Pittsburgh University Archive, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 2003,
  • Escaping the Nazis

    In 1943, just before he was to be arrested by Nazi police, Bohr escaped to Sweden. He spent the remaining years of the war in England and the United States. In America, Bohr worked at the secret Los Alamos Laboratory on the Manhattan Project, where his assumed name was Nicholas Baker. “Guide to the Niels Bohr Collection 1909-1963.” Special Collections Resource Center, University of Chicago Library,
  • Death

    After having a stroke, he died on November 18, 1962, in Copenhagen. Reference:
    “Niels Bohr.”, A&E Networks Television, 26 July 2019,
  • Reflections on Bohr

    Reflections on Bohr
    In a letter to Imre Lakatos in 1968, Paul Feryeraband declared, "the idea of Bohr's obscurity" to be "nothing but a myth", perpetuated by critics like Popper, who had never bother to read him properly. Reference:
    Faye, Jan, and Henry Folse. NIELS BOHR AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS: Twenty First-Century Perspectives. BLOOMSBURY, 2019.