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“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”
Niels Bohr
Physicist, 1885 - 1962

Niels Bohr was born on October 7, 1885 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Bohr made numerous contributions to our understanding of the structure of properties of atoms. He won the 1922 Nobel Prize for physics, chiefly for his work on atomic structure.

Bohr received his doctorate in physics from the University of Copenhagen in 1911. He then traveled to Manchester, England to study under Ernest Rutherford.

In 1913, Bohr published a theory about the structure of the atom based on an earlier theory of Rutherford's. Rutherford had shown that the atom consisted of a positively charged nucleus, with negatively charged electrons in orbit around it. Bohr expanded upon this theory by proposing that electrons travel only in certain successively larger orbits. He suggested that the outer orbits could hold more electrons than the inner ones, and that these outer orbits determine the atom's chemical properties.

Bohr also described the way atoms emit radiation by suggesting that when an electron jumps from an outer orbit to an inner one, that it emits light. Later other physicists expanded his theory into quantum mechanics. This theory explains the structure and actions of complex atoms.

Bohr became a professor of physics at the University of Copenhagen in 1916. In 1920, he was named director of the newly constructed Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University. Bohr became a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1926, receiving the Royal Society Copley Medal in 1938.

During World War II, Bohr fled Copenhagen to escape the Nazis. He traveled to Los Alamos, New Mexico to advise the scientists developing the first atomic bomb. He returned to Copenhagen after the war and later promoted the peaceful use of atomic energy.

If you are aware of books, movies, databases, web sites or other information sources about Niels Bohr or related subjects, or if you would like to comment, please contact us.

Resource Menu
Books About Niels Bohr

Suspended In Language Suspended In Language: Niels Bohr's Life, Discoveries, And The Century He Shaped
by Jim Ottaviani (Author), Leland Purvis (Illustrator), Roger Langridge (Illustrator), Jay Holser (Illustrator), Steve Leialoha (Illustrator), Linda Medley (Illustrator), Jeff Parker (Illustrator)

Suspended in Language tells the complete story of Niels Bohr's amazing life, discoveries, and pervasive influence on science, philosophy, and politics, all told in an engaging mixture of text and comics. This is not some casual cartoon compilation, but a serious piece of graphic scholarship. Be prepared to learn some physics along with the story of Bohr's life in this very cool science biography.

Purchase this paperback edition of Suspended In Language

Niels Bohr's Times Niels Bohr's Times: In Physics, Philosophy, and Polity
by Abraham Pais

An illumination of the life and thought of a giant of 20th-century physics, Niels Bohr. This biography captures the essence of the man who was the first to understand how atoms were put together, and reveals the personal side of Bohr, an avid reader and puzzle solver.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Niels Bohr's Times

Atoms, Metaphors and Paradoxes Atoms, Metaphors and Paradoxes: Niels Bohr and the Construction of a New Physics
by Sandro Petrucciolo, Ian McGilvray (Translator)

Quantum mechanics, developed in the 1920s and 1930s by Bohr, Heisenberg, Born, Schrvdinger and Dirac, required a whole new kind of physics. Many of the principles representing reality, that formed the basis of classical physics, had to be abandoned. This book explores the birth of quantum mechanics, examining many of Niels Bohr's crucial and original insights.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Atoms, Metaphors and Paradoxes

Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Dilemma Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Dilemma
by Andrew Whitaker

In this book author Tina Santi Flaherty, described by Business Week as one of America's top corporate women, contends that Jackie was never given credit for her leadership abilities. Areas she believes Jackie taught by example include dealing with men, motherhood, courage and discipline.

Purchase this hardcover edition of Einstein, Bohr and the Quantum Dilemma

The Physics of Chance The Physics of Chance: From Blaise Pascal to Niels Bohr
by Charles Ruhia, Gabriel Barton (Translator)

Randomness is a central theme to much of modern physics, replacing the clockwork concept of the universe. This book shows how the laws of probability and statistics were developed, and how they are applied in physics. Primarily the work of Aspect, Bohr, Boltzmann, Einstein, Maxwell, Pascal and Poincare are covered.

Purchase this hardcover edition of The Physics of Chance

DVDs About Niels Bohr

Bohr's Model of the Atom Bohr's Model of the Atom
by Stephen B. Oates

Gain gain a comprehensive understanding of the history and the theory of Bohr's Atomic Model. Includes a brief outline of Bohr's life, his first and second postulatess, and his influence on contemporary society. Featuring unique animation and plain English explanations.

Purchase this DVD edition of Bohr's Model of the Atom

Niels Bohr Online Videos

Bohr and Quantum Mechanics

Solvay Physics Conference 1927

Related Websites

Niels Bohr Archive
Copenhagen, Denmark

Niels Bohr Institute
Astronomy, Physics and Geophysics located in Copenhagen, Denmark

MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive Niels Bohr Biography

Neils Bohr's Nobel Foundation Page

The Niels Bohr Library
An overview of the Library's resources

Clara Barton

Other Physicists/Scientists in the Lucidcafé Library

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