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Niels Hendrik David Bohr

Updated October 14, 2019

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Niels Hendrik David Bohr Niels Hendrik David Bohr Niels Hendrik David Bohr was one of the foremost scientists of the 20th century. The Nobel prizewinning physicist was known for his development of the theory of atomic fission that led to the development of the atomic bomb. He was born on Oct. 7, 1885, in Copenhagen, Denmark. His father, Christian, was a professor at the University of Copenhagen and his brother, Harold, was a great mathematician. He entered the university in 1903.

In 1907, he earned his PhD went to England to study with J.J. Thomson and Ernest Rutherfurd. He returned to Copenhagen in 1916 as a professor at the university. He became the director of the university’s Institute for Theoretical Physics in 1920, to which he attracted many world-renowned physicist. In 1922, he won the Nobel Prize for his work on the atomic structure.

When he visited the United States in 1939, he brought the knowledge that the German scientists were successful in splitting the uranium atom. In the winter of 1939, Bohr worked at Princeton University, were he developed the theory of atomic fission that led to the first atomic bomb, and then returned to Denmark in 1940. In 1943, he was still in Copenhagen when the Nazis occupied his country. He left Copenhagen, because of his Jewish background, and went to Los Alamos, North Mexico, were he helped scientist who were working on the first atomic bomb. Before he left, he dissolved his golden Nobel medal in acid.

In 1945, after the war was over, he returned to his country, and precipitated the gold from acid and recast the medal. Bohr worked very hard on the peaceful uses of atomic energy and organized the first Atoms for Peace Conference in Geneva in 1955. He was awarded the first Atomic Peace award. He died on November 18, 1962 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Biographies.

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