Aage Bohr; physics professor received Nobel prize; at 87
COPENHAGEN - Aage Bohr, a nuclear physics professor and Nobel laureate like his father, has died. He was 87.
Mr. Bohr received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1975. His father, Niels Bohr, who was a colleague and close friend of Albert Einstein, received the Nobel Prize in physics for nuclear research in 1922.
The institute named after his father and where Aage Bohr was a professor of physics said yesterday that Mr. Bohr died Tuesday. A funeral will take place Monday, his family said.
Born a few months before his father received his Nobel Prize, Aage Niels Bohr grew up among nuclear physics specialists because the family lived at the Copenhagen Institute for Theoretical Physics, now known as the Niels Bohr Institute.
In a biography, he described how several international nuclear physicists were part of his childhood.
“The remarkable generation of scientists who came to join my father in his work became for us children Uncle Klein, Uncle Nishina, Uncle Heisenberg, Uncle Pauli,’’ he wrote in a reference to Oscar Klein of Sweden, Yoshio Nishina of Japan, Werner Karl Heisenberg of Germany, and Wolfgang Pauli of Austria.
A few months after Nazi troops invaded Denmark in 1940 in World War II, he began studying physics at the University of Copenhagen.
In late September 1943, however, Adolf Hitler ordered the deportation of Danish Jews to concentration camps. On the night of Oct. 1, 1943, Danes began smuggling the bulk of Denmark’s 7,300-strong Jewish community across the Oeresund Strait to neutral Sweden. Among them was the Bohr family.
From neighboring Sweden, father and son continued to Britain, where they joined the British Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in London. During that period, the pair traveled to the United States and joined the Manhattan Project.
The family returned to Denmark in 1945, and Aage Bohr resumed his studies. The following year, he got a master’s degree. After studying in the United States from 1948 to 1950, Mr. Bohr became professor at the University of Copenhagen in 1956.
He succeeded his father as head of the Institute of Theoretical Physics in 1963. Two years later, the institute was named after his father, who died in 1962.
Aage Bohr quit the top administrative post at the Niels Bohr Institute in 1967 to devote his energies to research.
In 1975, Mr. Bohr received the Nobel physics prize, which he shared with American-born Dane Ben Mottelsson and Leo James Rainwater of the United States. Rainwater died in 1986.
The trio was given the prize for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection.