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Niels Bohr
Biographical Information

Birth Date:October 7, 1885
Astrology Sign:Libra
Chinese Sign: -
Birth Name:Niels Henrik David Bohr
Birth Place:Copenhagen, Denmark
Died Date:November 18, 1962


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Niels Bohr

Biography:Niels Bohr

Early years Bohr was born in Copenhagen in 1885. His father, Christian Bohr, was a professor of physiology at the University of Copenhagen, while his mother, Ellen Adler Bohr, came from a wealthy Sephardic Jewish family prominent in Danish banking and parliamentary circles. His brother was Harald Bohr, a mathematician and Olympic soccer player who played in the Danish national team; Niels Bohr was a passionate soccer player as well, and the two brothers played a number of matches for Akademisk Boldklub.

Bohr received his doctorate from Copenhagen University in 1911. He then studied under Ernest Rutherford in the Victoria University of Manchester in England. On the basis of Rutherford's theories, Bohr published his model of atomic structure in 1913, introducing the theory of electrons traveling in orbits around the atom's nucleus, the chemical properties of the element being largely determined by the number of electrons in the outer orbits. Bohr also introduced the idea that an electron could drop from a higher-energy orbit to a lower one, emitting a photon (light quantum) of discrete energy. This became a basis for quantum theory.

Middle years In 1916, Niels Bohr became a professor at the University of Copenhagen, and director of the newly constructed "Institute of Theoretical Physics" in 1920. In 1922, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics "for his services in the investigation of the structure of atoms and of the radiation emanating from them". Bohr's institute served as a focal point for theoretical physicists in the 1920s and '30s, and most of the world's best known theoretical physicists of that period spent some time there.

Bohr also conceived the principle of complementarity: that items could be separately analyzed as having several contradictory properties. For example, physicists currently conclude that light is both a wave and a stream of particles - two apparently mutually exclusive properties - on the basis of this principle. Bohr also found philosophical applications for this daringly original principle. Albert Einstein much preferred the determinism of classical physics over the probabilistic new physics of Bohr (to which Max Planck and Einstein himself had contributed). He and Bohr had good-natured arguments over the truth of this principle throughout their lives (see Bohr Einstein debate). One of Bohr's most famous students was Werner Heisenberg, a crucial figure in the development of quantum mechanics, who was also head of the German atomic bomb project.

Niels Bohr and his wife Margrethe had six children. Two died young, and most of the others went on to lead successful lives. One, Aage Niels Bohr, also became a very successful physicist; like his father, he won a Nobel Prize.

Later years / Death / Legacy In 1941, during the German occupation of Denmark in World War II, Bohr was visited by Heisenberg in Copenhagen (see next section). In 1943, shortly before he was to be arrested by the German police, Bohr escaped to Sweden, and then traveled to London.

He worked at the secret Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico, USA, on the Manhattan Project, where, according to Richard Feynman, he was known by the assumed name of Nicholas Baker for security reasons. His role in the project was important. He was seen as a knowledgeable consultant or "father confessor" on the project. He was concerned about a nuclear arms race, and is quoted as saying "That is why I went to America. They didn't need my help in making the atom bomb." .

Bohr believed atomic secrets should be shared by the international scientific community. After meeting with Bohr, J. Robert Oppenheimer suggested Bohr visit President Franklin Roosevelt to convince him that the Manhattan Project should be shared with the Russians in the hope of speeding up its results. Roosevelt suggested Bohr return to England to try to win British approval. Churchill opposed the idea.

After the war he returned to Copenhagen, advocating the peaceful use of nuclear energy. He died in Copenhagen in 1962. He is buried in the Assistens Kirkegård in the Nørrebro section of Copenhagen.

The element bohrium is named in his honor. He is pictured on the 500 kr. Danish bank note. In 1965, three years afters Bohr's death, the institute of physics at the university of Copenhagen changed name to the Niels Bohr Institute.

Personality and Character Cards:
Numerology is used to calculate tarot cards

Niels Bohr's Personality Tarot Card The Hanged Man - Personality Card

Birthday: October 7, 1885

A sacrifice must be made in order to gain something of great value.

Niels Bohr's Character Tarot Card The Empress - Character Card

Birthday: October 7, 1885

Abundance, fruitfulness and fertility; perhaps marriage or children.

This year's Growth Tarot Card
Based on this year's birthday

Niels Bohr's Growth Tarot Card The Hermit

Birthday: October 7, 2017

A time for soul searching and meditation; a need for patience and solitude.




Portions of famous people database was used with permission from Russell Grant from his book The Book of Birthdays Copyright © 1999, All rights reserved. Certain biographical material and photos licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, from Wikipedia, which is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

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