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Privatdozent Photo Edition #13
Five Nobel Laureates (1931)
Niels Bohr (1885-1962) and Werner Heisenberg (1901-76) were close friends in the 1920s and early 30s. The latter had studied under Bohr in Copenhagen in the years 1924-25 after being granted a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship on account of his habilitation thesis on the anomalous ‘Zeeman effect’, supervised by Arnold Sommerfeld (1868-1951). Sommerfeld had brought Heisenberg to attend the inaugural Bohr Festival in Göttingen in June of 1922. At the event, Bohr gave comprehensive lectures on quantum atomic physics which had a lasting effect on Heisenberg. This was also where the two first met. It was under the influence of Bohr in Copenhagen that Heisenberg wrote his breakthrough paper "Über quantentheoretische Umdeutung kinematischer und mechanischer Beziehungen" ("Quantum theoretical re-interpretation of kinematic and mechanical relations") two years later.
In the photograph above, Bohr and Heisenberg are standing with fellow Nobel Laureates Enrico Fermi (1901-54), Peter Debye (1884-1966) and Otto Stern (1888-1969), as well as Fermi’s supervisor Orso Mario Corbino (1876-1937).
Related Privatdozent newsletters:
When Heisenberg met Einstein, June 11th 2021
The Golden Age of Quantum Physics, September 3rd 2021
The Bohr-Einstein Debate, May 25th 2021
The Einstein-Szilard Letter, June 7th 2021
Einstein and Hilbert’s Relativity Race, July 3rd 2021
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