Niels Bohr Medal – University of Copenhagen

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French physicist receives the Niels Bohr Medal

In honour of the 100th anniversary of Niels Bohr's revolutionary atomic model, the Danish Academy of Engineers - in association with the Niels Bohr Institute and The Royal Danish Society of Sciences and Letters - will award the Niels Bohr Medal to a prominent French physicist.

The French physicist, Professor Alain Aspect is awarded the Niels Bohr Medal for his experiments in the field of optical and atomic physics regarding the Bell’s inequalities tests, an important contribution to settling the debate between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr and a demonstration of the intriguing character of entanglement, now at the root of quantum information research.
Credit: Institut d'Optique / Jean-François Dars  

The medal will be presented 7 October at a special event at Niels Bohr’s former residence, the Honorary Residence at the Carlsberg Academy in Copenhagen, which will be attended by Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark and His Royal Highness The Prince Consort. 

The recipient of the medal is the 65-year-old French physicist and scientist Alain Aspect, who is regarded as an outstanding and prominent figure in the field of optical and atomic physics. Professor Aspect has been awarded the medal for his experiments regarding the Bell’s inequalities tests, an important contribution to settling the debate between Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr and a demonstration of the intriguing character of entanglement, now at the root of quantum information research.

Professor Aspect is  Augustin Fresnel professor and CNRS researcher at the Institut d'Optique and Professor at Ecole Polytechnique.

In addition to his research, Alain Aspect is known as an excellent lecturer whose research group has for many years played host to promising young researchers from the United States and Europe, including Denmark.

The story behind the medal

The Niels Bohr Medal is an international award which aims to honour a scientist or engineer who has made a significant contribution to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The Niels Bohr Medal is an international prize, that was instituted by the Danish Society of Engineers in 1955 in connection to Niels Bohr's 70 years birthday. It has been awarded ten times in the period from 1955 to 1982. In honour of the 100th anniversary of Niels Bohr's revolutionary atomic model, the Danish Society of Engineers - in association with the Niels Bohr Institute and The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the medal is now being awarded to the eminent French physicist Alain Aspect.

The medal was instituted by the Society of Engineers in 1955, and has been awarded ten times in the period from 1955 to 1982, mostly for basic research in atomic physics.

In connection with the 100th anniversary of the publication of Bohr's atomic model, the Danish Academy of Engineers has decided, in collaboration with the Niels Bohr Institute and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, to once again award the medal to an internationally recognized active researcher whose work is connected to the work of Niels Bohr.

Previous recipients of the Niels Bohr Medal:

  • Niels Bohr, 1955
  • John Cockroft, 1958
  • George de Hevesy, 1961
  • PL Kapitza, 1965
  • Isidor Isaac Rabi, 1967
  • Werner Karl Heisenberg, 1970
  • Richard P. Feynman, 1973
  • Hans A. Bethe, 1976
  • Charles H. Townes, 1979
  • John Archibald Wheeler, 1982

Read about Alain Aspect >>

For more information:

Rector Jannik Johansen, Chairman of the Award Committee 
Telephone: +45 3832-0410,  +45 3965-1349, E-mail: jj@frederiksberggymnasium.dk

Professor Nils Overgaard Andersen, Niels Bohr Institute
Telephone: +45 60 39 04 77 Mail: noa@science.ku.dk