...the foundation of atomic physics and modern physics was created in a creative scientific environment inspired by Niels Bohr in the 1920s and 30s.
The participants of the EPS Historic Site ceremony in front of the plaque.
The European Physical Society [EPS] has declared the Niels Bohr Institute as a EPS Historical Site with great international importance for developments in physics and research on 3 December 2013. The Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, was established in 1921 for the physicist and Nobel laureate, Niels Bohr, who in 1913 created the ground-breaking atomic model that formed the basis for our understanding of how the world is constructed, and later as the basis for quantum mechanics, which has revolutionised technological development.
Across the world organisations declare UNESCO sites, buildings and monuments as the cultural or natural heritage of mankind. Since science is a fundamental part of our culture, the EPS has declared particularly important sites as a "Historic Sites" for science. The Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen has been selected on this basis: "This is where the foundation of atomic physics and modern physics were created in a creative scientific environment inspired by Niels Bohr in the 1920s and 30s."
For years, Niels Bohr worked in humble conditions at the University of Copenhagen, but in 1921 he got his very own Institute of Theoretical Physics. It was a brand new building on Blegdamsvej 17 and was the setting for Bohr’s work for the rest of his life. Niels Bohr created a fundamental change in thinking in physics and at the same time he managed to create and international environment that attracted some of the best scientists from around the world. The many foreign researchers visited Copenhagen, where they exchanged views and ideas with each other and with him. Several of them were later awarded the Nobel Prize for their work.
The Niels Bohr Institute at Blegdamsvej in Copenhagen has been the setting of no fewer than four Nobel laureates. Niels Bohr won the Nobel Prize in 1922 for his pioneering model of the atom, George de Hevesy received the Nobel Prize in 1943 for his pioneering work in nuclear medicine, and in 1975 Aage Bohr and Ben Mottelson received the Nobel Prize for their model of the structure of the atomic nucleus.
All of the things that we surround ourselves with and find very natural and indispensible are based on quantum mechanics. It centres around all of the electronics found in modern appliances, computers, mobile phones, communication devices, CD players, flat panel displays, lasers and special nuclear medicine scanners for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. One analysis shows that over 30% of the western world’s GDP can be traced back to Niels Bohr’s articles from 1913.
The selection of the Niels Bohr Institute as a Historic Site has been celebrated at an even on 3 December in the historic Auditorium A, which the President of the EPS, John Dudley, attended. A plaque has been placed on the building with the inscription: "This is where the foundation of atomic physics and modern physics were created in a creative scientific environment inspired by Niels Bohr in the 1920s and 30s."
- Visit the website of the Niels Bohr Institute