Niels Bohr's Times, in Physics, Philosophy, and Polity

Oxford University Press (1991)
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Abstract

The life of Niels Bohr spanned times of revolutionary change in science itself as well as its impact on society. Along with Albert Einstein, Bohr can be considered to be this century's major driving force behind the new philosophical and mathematical descriptions of the structure of the atom and the nucleus. Abraham Pais, the acclaimed biogrpaher of Albert Einstein, here traces Bohr's progress from his well-to-do origins in late nineteenth-century Denmark to his position at centre stage in the world political scene, particularly during the Second World War and the development of atomic weapons. Pais' description moves through the science as it was before Bohr, as it became because of Bohr, and thence to Bohr's scientific and philosophical legacy. That legacy is contained both in theory as it is now universally enshrined, as well as in its practice in such great Danish institutions as Riso. But more than that, Pais captures the essence of Bohr, the intensely private family figure who, despite appalling personal tragedy, became one of the most loved cultural figures of recent times.

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