Niels Bohr

- In Honour of Professor Niels Bohr


Niels Henrik David Bohr was born on 7th October 1885. In 1916 Niels Bohr was appointed professor at the University of Copenhagen, and in 1921 the Institute for Theoretical Physics, now known as the Niels Bohr Institute, was founded under his leadership. The following year Niels Bohr, as one of the youngest ever, was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the atomic model and the understanding of how radiation as light is emitted from them. A discovery, that Albert Einstein called “a miracle”.

In the interwar period, the Niels Bohr Institute was a metropolis for theoretical physicians, who would come to Copenhagen to exchange views and ideas with each other and with Niels Bohr.

Four of the members of this Institute at the University of Copenhagen have received the Nobel Prize, among them one of six Bohr’s sons, Aage Bohr. Furthermore, Niels Bohr mentored some of the most influential physicians in history such as Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg, who for some period of time worked as assistants at the Niels Bohr Institute.

The result of the so-called Copenhagen Schools research was a significant contribution to one of the 20th century most ground-breaking physical theories, the quantum mechanics. Devices in computers, mobile phones, CD players, lasers and medical scanners, and many more of the modern inventions, use the technology that grew from the research at the Niels Bohr Institute.

Niels Bohr was a Jew and during World War 2 he fled from the Nazis in Denmark and joined the Allied Manhattan project to build the nuclear bomb before Hitler. However, from the end of the war and until his death, Niels Bohr worked for international corporations and peaceful use of nuclear power, which he helped to discover. He is revered all over the world as one of the greatest humanists and scientists of all time.

Niels Bohr was central figure in the development of scientific institutions, both in Denmark and internationally. He was one of the founding fathers of CERN, the European Center for Particle Physics. CERN was founded in 1954, and since then it has been the center of several of the greatest discoveries in modern physics.


The Niels Bohr Program

The purpose of The Niels Bohr program funded by the Danish National Research Foundation is to enrich and strengthen Danish Research environments with first-class international researchers. This applies to excellent foreign researchers, but also allows outstanding Danish Researchers who have chosen an international career to return home.


Read more about Niels Bohr and his work in this article from the Financial Times.