clues: Einstein contemporary; Los Alamos scientist; Quantum
physics pioneer; Danish
physicist; Nobelist Niels ____; Atomic physicist Niels
2 times a year
in English language:
39594 / 86800
Physics – Einstein and Neils Bohr
who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood a single
Henrik David Bohr (October 7, 1885 – November 18, 1962) was
a Danish physicist who made essential contributions to
understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics.
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 travelled to London.
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
for security reasons. However his role in the project was minor.
He is quoted as saying "That is why I went to America. They
didn't need my help in making the atom bomb." He was seen as
a knowledgeable consultant or "father confessor" on the
project. After the war he returned to Copenhagen, advocating for
a peaceful use of nuclear energy. He died in Copenhagen in 1962.
element bohrium is named in his honor.
Heisenberg claimed in an interview after the war, when the author
Robert Jungk was working on the book Brighter
Than a Thousand Suns,
that he had tried to establish a pact with Bohr such that
scientists on neither side should help develop the atomic bomb.
He also said that the German attempts were entirely focused on
energy production, and that his circle of colleagues tried to
keep it that way. Heisenberg nuanced his claims, though, and
avoided implication that he and his colleagues had purposely
sabotaged the bomb effort. However, this nuance was lost in
Jungk's original publication of the book, which strongly implied
that the German atomic bomb project was rendered purposely
stillborn by Heisenberg.
Bohr saw this depiction in the Danish translation of Jungk's
book, he disagreed wholeheartedly. He said that Heisenberg had
indeed let him know in Copenhagen that he was working on an
atomic bomb project, and that he thought that Germany would win
the war. He dismissed the idea of any pact as an after-the-fact
construction. He drafted several letters to inform Heisenberg
about this but never sent any of them. Michael Frayn's play
which ran on Broadway for a time, explores what might have
happened at the 1941 meeting between Heisenberg and Bohr. The
truth of the historical event is still a matter of scholarly
article is licensed under the GNU
Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia
article "Niels Bohr".