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Aarhus is capital of physics for a time

In June, Aarhus University sets the scene for an international summit in the world of physics when the Department of Physics and Astronomy welcomes both Danish and international elite researchers to the 11th European Conference on Atoms, Molecules and Photons – ECAMP11.


In the centenary year of Niels Bohr's model of the atom, Aarhus University is hosting an international summit for the world of physics.

Atom means "indivisible" in Greek, and around 150 years ago, the word tied in well with the view held by scientists of the structure of the atom. One hundred years ago, a young Dane presented his sensational theory that the electrons in an atom orbit a nucleus, and that the electrons can leap between orbits, thereby releasing a small energy charge. This subsequently became a cornerstone for the revolution of quantum physics, on which rests virtually our entire understanding of the world of physics to this day.

"We are extremely proud and honoured that Aarhus University is hosting this international event in the centenary year of Niels Bohr's model of the atom. His work and his, at the time, ground-breaking thoughts have had an immense bearing on the development of the science of physics. Today, physics is a comprehensive field of research in which spectacular results are achieved all over the world," says Professor Lars H. Andersen, head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The conference, which is held every three years, will take place from 24 to 28 June. The scientific programme includes lectures by the Nobel Prize laureate Serge Haroche, who received the award in 2012 for his work on photons, the Dane Lene Vestergaard Hau, who has managed to halt light, as well as AU physicist Jeffrey Hangst, who heads a research group which was the first in the world to perform precision measurements of antimatter.

"It is a pleasure to welcome prominent physicists who have not only come from all over the world, but who are also the pioneers of nuclear physics within their respective scientific fields," says Lars H. Andersen.

See the full programme at the ECAMP11 website: www.ecamp11.au.dk/

A historical insight
The conference starts with a special look at early days of nuclear physics when the award-winning stage production "Copenhagen" is performed at Concert Hall Aarhus on Monday, 24 June. The production recounts a historic meeting between Niels Bohr and the German physicist Werner Heisenberg during World War II. A meeting which has since given rise to some discussion as both physicists were working on new, ground-breaking discoveries within nuclear physics that could be used to make a nuclear bomb. Tickets are available to subscribers to AU Science and Technology's Public Natural Science Lectures.

To book tickets for "Copenhagen", see www.scitech.au.dk/foredrag

Focus on Bohr
In connection with the ECAMP11 conference, Aarhus University is focusing on Niels Bohr and his epoch-making model of the atom. At the time, the model was regarded as both peculiar and crazy, while present-day physicists are glad to have Bohr's model even though they describe it as downright wrong in places.

Newsroom is the new news homepage from Aarhus University. Here, articles and lists of experts can be found which show more aspects of both the model and Bohr as a person.

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