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Ben R. Mottelson

Ben R. MottelsonAKA Benjamin Roy Mottelson

Born: 9-Jul-1926
Birthplace: Chicago, IL

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: Denmark
Executive summary: Determined shapes of nuclei

Military service: US Navy (1943-45)

Danish physicist Ben R. Mottelson studied under Julian Schwinger and Niels Bohr, and frequently collaborated with Bohr's son Aage N. Bohr. In a series of studies in the 1950s, Mottelson and the younger Bohr discovered that as subatomic particles move, their motions can alter the shape of the nucleus. This helped to support James Rainwater's theories regarding the shapes of nuclei, and it has since been shown that such distortions in shape occur in atoms of all elements. With Rainwater and Aage Bohr, Mottelson won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1975.

Father: Goodman Mottelson (engineer)
Mother: Georgia Blum Mottelson
Wife: Nancy Jane Reno Mottelson (m. 1948, d. 1975, three children)
Son: Malcolm Graham Mottelson (b. 1950)
Son: Daniel John Mottelson (b. 1953)
Daughter: Martha Mottelson (b. 1954)
Wife: Britta Marger Siegumfeldt (m. 1984)

    High School: Lyons Township High School, La Grange, IL (1943)
    University: BS Physics, Purdue University (1947)
    University: PhD Theoretical Physics, Harvard University (1950)
    Professor: Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen (1950-51)
    Professor: Nordic Institute for Theoretical Atomic Physics, Copenhagen (1957-)
    Professor: Visiting Professor, University of California at Berkeley (1959)

    Atoms for Peace Award 1969
    Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute 1974
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1975 (with Aage N. Bohr and James Rainwater)
    Bangladesh Academy of Sciences Foreign Member (2000)
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors
    CERN Research Fellowship (1953-57)
    US Atomic Energy Commission Research Fellowship (1951-53)
    Jewish Ancestry
    American Ancestry
    Naturalized Danish Citizen 1973

Author of books:
Nuclear Structure (1969-75, physics, 2 volumes; with Aage N. Bohr)


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