abstract-grandin – Niels Bohr Archive

Karl Grandin, Royal Academy of Science, Sweden
Niels Bohr as seen from a Swedish perspective

Niels Bohr made several crucial contributions to the development of physics in the 20th century, not only through his scientific publications but also through establishing the important environment for international collaboration at the institute at Blegdamsvej. In this talk I will investigate Bohr’s activities from a Scandinavian perspective, especially Bohr as seen from the Swedish perspective. Besides all his other important activities Bohr took an active interest throughout his career in the local promotion of the physical sciences. Bohr as seen from a Swedish perspective might then not only satisfy the local historical interest in the matter, but also add elements to the understanding of Bohr’s work by taking the Scandinavian connection into consideration. There is a story from the Second Scandinavian Congress of Mathematicians in Copenhagen in 1911, when the Swedish theoretical physicist C.W. Oseen came into contact with Niels Bohr and subsequently supported Bohr in obtaining a professorship and discussing how to strengthen physics in Denmark and Sweden. Later on Bohr was even offered to become a member of the physics Nobel committee. The Scandinavian element is even more pronounced after the war through for instance discussions of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with the Swedish Prime Minister Tage Erlander and the establishment of Nordita.