The Atomic Intrigues of Niels Bohr; May 1995; Scientific American Magazine; by Staff Editor; 1 Page(s)
Scandal is not usually linked with the name Niels Bohr; genius and character are. The Nobel Prize¿winning physicist who first described the atom through quantum mechanics was a titan of 20th-century science. During World War II, he opposed the Nazi occupation of his native Denmark and as a refugee participated in the Manhattan Project, which gave nuclear might to the U.S. Yet Bohr was also an outspoken advocate of international cooperation, urging Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill to provide other countries with knowledge of the bomb's workings in the interest of world peace.
Would Bohr have acted unilaterally on those convictions? Last year some seemingly wellplaced sources publicly alleged that Bohr had given classified information about the U.S. bomb program to Soviet agents. Suspicions centered on a meeting between Bohr and representatives of the secret police that took place in 1945.