Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
Niels Henrik David Bohr was born in Copenhagen on October 7, 1885, as the son of
Christian Bohr, Professor of Physiology at Copenhagen University, and his wife
Ellen. Niels, together with his younger brother Harald, grew up in an atmosphere
most favourable to the development of his genius.
After matriculation at the Gammelholm Grammar School in 1903, he entered
Copenhagen University where he came under the guidance of Professor C.
Christiansen, a profoundly original and highly endowed physicist, and took his
Master's degree in Physics in 1909 and his Doctor's degree in 1911.
In the autumn of 1911 he made a stay at Cambridge, where he profited by
following the experimental work going on in the Cavendish Laboratory under Sir
J.J. Thomson's guidance, at the same time as he pursued own theoretical studies.
In the spring of 1912 he was at work in Professor Rutherford's laboratory in
Manchester, where just in those years such an intensive scientific life and
activity prevailed as a consequence of that investigator's fundamental inquiries
into the radioactive phenomena.
Recognition of his work on the structure of atoms came with the award of the
Nobel Prize for 1922.
Bohr also contributed to the clarification of the problems encountered in
quantum physics, in particular by developing the concept of complementarily.
Niels Bohr was President of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences, of the Danish
Cancer Committee, and Chairman of the Danish Atomic Energy Commission.
Niels Bohr died in Copenhagen on November 18, 1962.