Niels Bohr | Biography, Achievement, Details & Facts

Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who gave many laws and theories in the field of physics and was one of the foremost scientists of modern physics. He is famous for his contribution to quantum theory and for describing the atomic structures of atoms. He discovered the Bohr magneton and got Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922, for his contribution to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory.

Niels Bohr | Biography

  • Full Name: Niels Henrik David Bohr
  • Birth: 07 October 1885, in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Death: 18 November 1962 (aged 77), in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Cause of death: Stroke
  • Resting place: Assistens Cemetery
  • Father: Christian Bohr
  • Mother: Ellen Adler
  • Nationality: Danish
  • Institutions: Trinity College, University of Manchester, Gammelholm Latin School, Copenhagen University.
  • Spouse: Margrethe Nørlund (m. 1912)
  • Childrens: Cristion Bohr, Harald, Aage Bohr, Eric Bohr, Ernest Bohr, Hans Henric Bohr
  • Profession: Physicist, Chemist, philosopher of science

Early life

Niels Bohr was born on 07 October 1885, in Copenhagen, Denmark. His father, Christian Bohr, was a celebrated professor of physiology at the University of Copenhagen, and his mother Ellen Adler, was part of a successful Jewish banking clan. He was the second child in his family and was younger than his sister Jennifer Bohr and older than his brother Harald Bohr.

Bohr joined Gammelholm Latin school, at the age of seven. He enrolled at Copenhagen University, Denmark, in 1903. His main subject was physics and he studied under Professor Christian Christiansen. He also studied philosophy under Professor Harald Høffding, who was a friend of his father, and astronomy & mathematics under Professor Thorvald Thiele.


Niels Bohr was a gave theories, of physics. Theories and concepts, discovered by Niels Bohr are:

  • Niels Bohr discovered Bohr Magneton, in the summer of 1913. The Bohr magneton is the magnitude of the magnetic dipole moment of an electron orbiting an atom with such angular momentum and its value is equal to 9.274×10−21 erg per gauss per particle.
  • Niels Bohr discovered 'Bohr Radius', which is a physical constant and its value is 5.29×10−11 m.
  • Bohr–van Leeuwen theorem was discovered by Bohr in 1911 and was rediscovered by Hendrika Johanna van Leeuwen in 1919.This theorem states that 'when statistical mechanics and classical mechanics are applied consistently, the thermal average of the magnetization is always zero'.
  • Bohr–Kramers–Slater theory was proposed in 1924 and was an attempt to explain problems in physical optics and to provide a unified picture of the continuous electromagnetic field and the discontinuous quantum transitions in atoms.
  • Copenhagen interpretation.
  • Bohr-Sommerfeld theory which describes the atom in terms of two quantum numbers.
  • Bohr announced the Complementarity principle in 1928, in physics, the tenet says that 'a complete knowledge of phenomena on atomic dimensions requires a description of both wave and particle properties.
  • Niels Bohr and Ernest Rutherford proposed the Bohr model of Rutherford model, in 1913, which postulates that 'electrons orbit the nucleus at fixed energy levels'.
  • 'Bohr's Institute for Theoretical Physics was founded by Niels Bohr. This institute is a research institute of the University of Copenhagen and was established in 1921. Bohr, in his inauguration speech for the new institute, on 03 March 1921, expressed his Goal to make the new institute a place where the younger generation of physicists could propose fresh ideas.


Niels Bohr received many awards for his works and discoveries, some of which are:

  • Bohr received "Hughes Medal" in 1921. Hughes Medal is awarded by the Royal Society of London "in recognition of an original discovery in the physical sciences, particularly electricity and magnetism, and was named after David E. Hughes.
  • Bohr received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on atomic structures, in 1922.
  • Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 1926.
  • Bohr in 1926, received "Franklin Medal" which was a science award from the Franklin Institute and it was merged into the Benjamin Franklin Medal, initiated in 1998.
  • In 1930, Niels Bohr received 'The Faraday Lectureship Prize' which is given by the Royal Society of Chemistry for 'exceptional contributions to theoretical or physical chemistry'.
  • Bohr received 'Max Planck Medal' in 1930 which is the highest award of the German Physical Society (the world's largest organization of physicists, for extraordinary achievements in theoretical physics).
  • Coupley medal 1937.
  • Bohr got the 'Sonning Prize' in 1961, which is a Danish culture prize awarded for outstanding contributions to European culture.
  • Order of the year 1945.
  • Atoms for Peace Award 1957.

Personal Information

Niels Bohr married Margrethe Norlund In a civil ceremony at the town hall in Slagelse on 01 August year 1912 and the couple had six sons together. Cristion Bohr, Harald, Aage Bohr, Eric Bohr, Ernest Bohr, Hans Henric Bohr. Bohr's oldest son Christian died in a boating accident in 1934. His second-oldest son Harald died from childhood meningitis.

Aage Bohr became a successful physicist and was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics, in 1975. Hans Bohr became a physician and Erik became a chemical engineer,. while Ernest became a lawyer and also became an athlete and played field hockey for Denmark at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.


Niels Bohr After having a stroke, died on 18 November 1962, In Copenhagen, Denmark, at the age of 77 years.

Every great and deep difficulty bears itself its own solution. It forces us to change our thinking in order to find it.

~ Niels Bohr

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