Session H13: History of Physics I

10:45 AM–12:21 PM, Sunday, May 1, 2011
Room: Royal EF

Sponsoring Unit: FHP
Chair: David Cassidy, Hofstra University

Abstract ID: BAPS.2011.APR.H13.3

Abstract: H13.00003 : Jocular Physics: A Tribute to Bohr in Humor

11:33 AM–11:57 AM

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  Paul Halpern
    (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia)

Copenhagen, starting in the 1920s and 1930s and continuing after the Second World War, was not just a center for extraordinary developments in quantum and nuclear physics; it also provided a perfect stage for physicists' abundant humor. We will examine the Journal of Jocular Physics, a humorous tribute to Bohr published on the occasions of his 50$^{th}$, 60$^{th}$ and 70$^{th}$ birthdays. We will discuss how the articles in the journal reflected attempts by the contributors, such as L\'{e}on Rosenfeld, Victor Weisskopf and others, to interpret and explain aspects of Bohr's philosophy, such as complementarity and the abandonment of pure Laplacian determinism.

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