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Subject: Karl Hufbauer
From: Gustav Holmberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Lista för idé- och lärdomshistoria i Sverige <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 15 Sep 1997 08:16:03 +0000

text/plain (36 lines)

The Niels Bohr Archive's                      Monday 6 October 1997 at 14:15
History of Science Seminar                    Auditorium A
Niels Bohr Institute                          Blegdamsvej 21 Copenhagen

                               Karl Hufbauer
       Professor, History of Science, University of California, Irvine

         Niels Bohr and the Theoretical Reorientation of Astrophysics

    Theory gained the ascendancy in astrophysics between the World Wars.
Hitherto, a flood of new kinds of data acquired with a succession of novel
physical instruments had dominated this important astronomical subdiscipline
which had come into being in the 1860s-70s.  During the inter-war decades,
however, theorists replaced instrumentalists and observers as the field's
most innovative researchers and prominent spokesmen.
    This talk on the theoretical reorientation of astrophysics will focus on
the several roles of Niels Bohr, his Institute, and his disciples in this
process.  In particular, Bohr'ss contributions to atomic physics
provided powerful tools for theorists investigating stellar elemental
abundances and structures; his Institute and its informal conferences served
his disciples Svein Rosseland and George Gamow as models respectively for
the Oslo Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics and a significant
interdisciplinary conference of 1938 on the stellar-energy problem; and his
optimism about theoretical physics' far-ranging prospects helped inspire
several of his Institute's former affiliates -- most notably, Gamow, Lev
Landau, Edward Teller, and Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker -- to venture into
astrophysical research.

Gustav Holmberg, Graduate Student, History of Science
and Ideas, Lund University, Sweden. [log in to unmask]

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