Monday, April 25, 2011

Niels Bohr

Name : Niels Henrik David Bohr
Nationality : Danish
Birth of Date: 07/10/1885
Death : 18/11/1962
1922 Nobel Prize For Physics : For his services in the investigation of the structure atoms and of the radiation emanating from them.

Early years :  Bohr was born in Copenhagen , Denmark . He received a doctorate from Copenhagen University in 1911.
  His father, Christian Bohr, was professor of physiology at the University of Copenhagen (it is his name which is given to the Bohr shift or Bohr effect), while his mother, Ellen Adler Bohr, came from a wealthy Jewish family prominent in Danish banking and parliamentary circles. His brother was Harald Bohr, a mathematician and Olympic footballer who played on the Danish national team. Niels Bohr was a passionate footballer as well, and the two brothers played a number of matches for the Copenhagen-based Akademisk Boldklub, with Niels in goal. There is, however, no truth in the oft-repeated claim that Niels Bohr emulated his brother Harald by playing for the Danish national team.

In 1903 Bohr enrolled as an undergraduate at Copenhagen University, initially studying philosophy and mathematics. In 1905, prompted by a gold medal competition sponsored by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, he conducted a series of experiments to examine the properties of surface tension, using his father's laboratory in the university, familiar to him from assisting there since childhood. His essay won the prize, and it was this success that decided Bohr to abandon philosophy and adopt physics.[3] As a student under Christian Christiansen he received his doctorate in 1911. As a post-doctoral student, Bohr first conducted experiments under J. J. Thomson at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1912 he joined Ernest Rutherford at Manchester University and he adapted Rutherford's nuclear structure to Max Planck's quantum theory and so obtained a theory of atomic structure which, with later improvements, mainly as a result of Heisenberg's concepts, remains valid to this day. 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 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. After four productive years with Ernest Rutherford in Manchester, Bohr returned to Denmark becoming in 1918 director of the newly created Institute of Theoretical Physics.

Bohr and his wife Margrethe Nørlund Bohr had six sons. Their oldest died in a tragic boating accident and another died from childhood meningitis. The others went on to lead successful lives, including Aage Bohr, who became a very successful physicist and, like his father, won a Nobel Prize in physics, in 1975.

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