Sunday, September 7, 2008


In the final episode of 'The Middleman', there was this line among the many pop culture references:

"But that's impossible, Niels Bohr died while building it…"

According to the trivia notes at for "The Palindrome Reversal Palindrome", this line
"references renowned physicist Neils Bohr (1885-1962), who received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922 for his contributions to quantum physics. He also worked on the Manhattan Project and among many other contributions, popularized the image and idea of electrons orbiting around the nucleus of an atom."

Here's more on Bohr edited from

Bohr's studies became more and more theoretical in character, his doctor's disputation being a purely theoretical piece of work on the explanation of the properties of the metals with the aid of the electron theory, which remains to this day a classic on the subject. It was in this work that Bohr was first confronted with the implications of Planck's quantum theory of radiation.

He passed on to a study of the structure of atoms on the basis of Rutherford's discovery of the atomic nucleus. By introducing conceptions borrowed from the Quantum Theory as established by Planck, which had gradually come to occupy a prominent position in the science of theoretical physics, he succeeded in working out and presenting a picture of atomic structure that, with later improvements (mainly as a result of Heisenberg's ideas in 1925), still fitly serves as an elucidation of the physical and chemical properties of the elements.

Bohr also contributed to the clarification of the problems encountered in quantum physics, in particular by developing the concept of complementarity. Hereby he could show how deeply the changes in the field of physics have affected fundamental features of our scientific outlook and how the consequences of this change of attitude reach far beyond the scope of atomic physics and touch upon all domains of human knowledge.

From 1920 until his death in 1962, Neils Bohr was at the head of the Institute for Theoretical Physics, established for him at Copenhagen university.

Recognition of his work on the structure of atoms came with the award of the Nobel Prize for 1922.

And my head hurts just from editing all of that. But my buddy Mark can probably figure out what I just cut and pasted.

To paraphrase "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball":

Now I to bed,
To figure out what I just said....

Toby O'B


Markienyc said...

Bohr's major breakthrough was in expanding Ernest Ruthefords work as to the structure of the atom. Basically, suggesting that electrons only travel in successively larger orbits and that the outer orbits hold more electrons than the inner ones. Hope that Helps :-)

Toby said...

Owwwww! My brain hurts!

Thanks for checking in, Mark!