19.06.

1922: Niels and Aage Bohr – Father and Son with a Nobel Prize

1922: Niels and Aage Bohr – Father and Son with a Nobel Prize
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 19 June 1922
  • It is not so uncommon for both father and son to be awarded the Nobel Prize. In fact, to date, six father-son pairs have received the Nobel Prize.

On this day in 1922, Aage Bohr, Nobel Prize winner and son of another famous Nobel laureate Niels Bohr, was born.

They both received the Nobel Prize in the same scientific field – Physics. It is interesting that in the history of Nobel Prizes, such a phenomenon that both father and son are awarded is actually quite common.

In fact, to date, six father-son pairs have received the Nobel Prize. In addition to Niels and Aage Bohr, they were:

  • J.J. Thomson and George Paget Thomson (each got his Nobel Prize in Physics)
  • William Bragg and Lawrence Bragg (shared the same Nobel Prize in Physics)
  • Arthur Kornberg and Roger D. Kornberg (father in Physiology and Medicine, son in Chemistry)
  • Manne Siegbahn and Kai M. Siegbahn (each got his prize in Physics)
  • Hans von Euler-Chelpin and Ulf von Euler (father in Chemistry, son in Physiology and Medicine).

In addition, there was also a quadruple father-mother-daughter-son-in-law Nobel Prize winning (Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, Irène Joliot-Curie, and Frédéric Joliot). This quadruple prize makes the Curie family the record holder in the number of Nobel Prizes in one family.

The only two brothers who received the Nobel Prize were Jan Tinbergen and Nikolaas Tinbergen, and besides the aforementioned Curies, other two pairs of spouses who received awards were: Gerty Cori and Carl Cori, and Alva Myrdal and Gunnar Myrdal.

Aage Bohr was a Dane, as his father Niels Bohr. Indeed, both of them were born and died in the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

The mother of Aage Bohr was Margrethe Nørlund, who married Niels Bohr in 1912. She was about five years younger than her husband and was the daughter of pharmacist Alfred Christian Nørlund and sister of mathematician Niels Erik Nørlund.

Aage is a quite common name in Denmark, as is the name Niels, which represents the Danish equivalent of Nicholas (Latin: Nicolaus).

It is interesting that Aage Bohr received his Nobel Prize 53 years after his father. Aage lived to be 88 years of age and died in 2009 in Copenhagen.

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