Prof. Ben Mottelson

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    The Niels Bohr Institute, Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen ∅, DK-2100, Denmark and NORDITA, Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen ∅, DK-2100, Denmark

    Ben R. Mottelson

    • born 9 July 1926, Chicago, Illinois, USA (Danish Citizen / 1970)
    Figure 1: Pr. Ben R. Mottelson

    Scientific Career

    • • Purdue University, B.S. 1947
    • • Harvard University, M.S. 1948, Ph.d. 1950
    • • Sheldon Traveling Fellow, (at Institute for Theoretical Physics, Copenhagen 1950 - 51)
    • • Atomic Energy Commission, USA, Postdoctoral Fellow (at Institute for Theoretical Physics,Copenhagen (1951 - 53)
    • • Staff member; CERN Theoretical Study Group, Copenhagen (1953 - 57)
    • • Professor of Physics, Nordita, Copenhagen, (1957 - present; Director 1980 - 83)
    • • Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley 1959 and 1984
    • • Director for the European Centre for Theoretical Studies in Nuclear Physics and Related Areas (ECT ⋆) in Trento, Italy (July 1993-1997)
    • • Adjunct Professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen (1994-97)
    • • Adjunct Professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen (2007 )
    • • The 1996 Feshbach Lectureship, MIT

    Member of

    • • The Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letter (1958 foreign, 1974 danish)
    • • The Kungliga Fysiografiska S¨allskapet (Lund, Sweden) (1970)
    • • The European Academy of Arts, Sciences and Humanities (1992)
    • • The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters
    • • The Norwegian Society of Science and Letters
    • • The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS) (2001)
    • • The Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) (1996)
    • • The Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts (1979)ls BM
    • • The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (1973)
    • • The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, (Cambridge, MA) (1971)


    • Purdue University (1968)
    • Heidelberg University (1971)
    • Lunds Tekniska Høgskola (1993)
    • University of Liverpool (1995)
    • University of Caen (1998)
    • Unversity BM.Publications of Jyväskylä (2004)
    • Universitetet i Oslo (2005)

    Prix scientifiques

    • Atoms for peace (USA)(1969)
    • The John Wetherill Medal (USA) (1974)
    • Nobel Prize (Sweden) (1975)
    • Römer Medal (Denmark) (1976)
    • Smoluchowsky Medal (Poland) (1980)

    Scientific interest

    I have been interested in the problems of nuclear structure, in all their many different aspects and manifestations. Examples of current issues includes: Single particle motion, how ”good” is it? What is the magnitude of the renormalization of the single particle pole ? What consequence does this have on the calculation of simple one particle transitions, or collective particle-hole modes? Are there situations in highly deformed or rapidly rotating nuclei where the simple descriptions of particle motion with angular and radial quantum numbers become qualitatively inappropriate to be replaced by some version of quantum chaos? Analogous, but different questions arise on other frontiers of nuclear structure such as nuclear structure at high angular momentum, and the study of the varied family of giant resonances. In the most recent years I have expanded my interests into two new areas: 1) the study of man-made finite quantal systems (metallic clusters, quantum dots, cold atom clouds). In particular it has been interesting to see to what extent it can be fruitful to view these systems as ”artificial nuclei”. 2) In a collaboration with colleagues at the Niels Bohr Institute (Aa. Bohr and O. Ulfbeck) we have tried to better understand the foundations of quantum mechanics. The central issue has been the placement of the concept of fortuity in the theory.

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