Niels Bohr.

October 7, 1885 - November 18, 1962.

And here we are...

In the beginning …

There was Aristotle,

And objects at rest tended to remain at rest,

And objects in motion tended to come to rest,

And soon everything was at rest

And God saw that it was boring.

Then God created Newton,

And object at rest tended to remain at rest,

And objects in motion tended to remain in motion,

And energy was conserved and momentum was conserved and matter was conserved

And God saw that it was conservative.

The God created Einstein,

And everything was relative,

And fast things became short,

And straight things became curved,

And the universe was filled with inertial frames

And God saw that it was relatively general, but some was especially relative.

Then God created Bohr,

And there was principle

And the principle was quantum,

And all things were still relative

And God saw that it was confusing.

And God was going to create Fergeson,

And Fergeson would have fielded a theory,

And he would have unified,

And all would have been one,

But it was the seventh day,

And God rested,

And objects at rest tend to remain at rest.


By Tim Joseph, Cornell University.

(Thank you - fatmanthinmanlittleboy )

The word atom is another great science word created by scientists for scientific and philosophical use-only in this case it was Leucippus and Democritus 2500 years ago!  Our word atom is a direct transliteration of the Ancient Greek word atomos  combining the alpha privative a with the verb temnein meaning to cut, yielding the meaning indivisible particle, uncut.  It is unclear whether the credit goes to Leucippus or Democritus, though most agree that the term really came to use under Democritus.  The idea of the atom was known a few centuries earlier in India, and Lucretius followed with extensive writing on the subject.

It wasn’t until Antoine Lavoisier began his study of chemistry that elements were separated and the idea of the atom took its modern meaning and form.  Shortly after Lavoisier, John Dalton published his paper on atomic structure and the search for the smallest units of matter was on.  Dalton’s paper was followed quickly by Gay-Lussac and then immediately again by Amadeo Avagadro who took to measuring the weight of the atom in gases.  Avagadro recognized that gases could occur as both atoms and molecules, something Dalton did not foresee.  In 1865 Johann Josef Loschmidt measured the size of an atom and by the end of the century discoveries by JJ Thomspon and Rutherford gave a glimpse of the interior of the atom.  Niels Bohr laid the groundwork for sub-atomic and quantum theory and was awarded the Nobel Prize for his studies.  In 1926 Erwin Schrodinger published his paper proposing that the electron acted as much like a wave as it did matter. 


Etching of Democritus from an ancient marble in the public domain.

Einstein, Dirac, Pauli, Marie Curie, Bohr, Schrodinger and many more of the scientific greats. All in one epic picture.

The Solvay Conference,1927.

Back row: Auguste Piccard, Émile Henriot, Paul Ehrenfest, Édouard Herzen, Théophile de Donder, Erwin Schrödinger, Jules-Émile Verschaffelt, Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg, Ralph Howard Fowler, Léon Brillouin. Middle: Peter Debye, Martin Knudsen, William Lawrence Bragg, Hendrik Anthony Kramers, Paul Dirac, Arthur Compton, Louis de Broglie, Max Born, Niels Bohr. Front: Irving Langmuir, Max Planck, Marie Sklodowska Curie, Hendrik Lorentz, Albert Einstein, Paul Langevin, Charles-Eugène Guye, Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, Owen Willans Richardson.