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Niels Bohr, the power of obsessive questions!

Niels Bohr, the power of obsessive questions!

How to let the genius in you emerge? With the famous physicist Niels Bohr, for example, we can learn the power of obsessive questions!


Co-winnter of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922, the Danish Niels Bohr often spoke of the dream that led him to the discovery of the structure of the atom. The son of an academic father and father of Aage Niels Bohr, co-winner with Ben Roy Mottelson and James Rainwater of the Nobel Prize in physics (1975) - Neils Bohr received his PhD in 1911. 

Known as the father of quantum mechanics, and as one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, Niels Bohr became famous for deciphering complex problems in the field of physics. What can we learn from this scientist? The answers always reveal to us, little by little, even when we feel dazzled. Niels Bohr, for example, had tried many times to understand the structure of the atom, but none of his configurations worked. Then one night, he dreamed of an atomic nucleus with electrons revolving around it, like the planets that revolve around their sun. Upon awakening, he had an intuition that this vision was finally correct. He returned to his lab to conduct experiments which would prove his new theory.

Among his many discoveries, Niels Bohr was at the origin of the principle of complementarity; objects can be analyzed separately and each analysis shows the opposite properties. For example, physicists explain that light is comprised of wave and particle beams, the photons. This idea has inspired the thought that it represents the yin-yang symbol accompanied by the Latin motto: "Contraria sunt complementa (opposites are complementary)".

Professors know students love good stories as we all do. This is a great way to help the understanding of complex concepts. If you like this kind of story, I recommend reading Suspended in Language, a very enjoyable read, accessible and well documented where you will discover the fascinating life and discoveries of Niels Bohr. 

Four lessons of creativity
Inspired by the physicist Niels Bohr!

1. A problem must be examined in a thousand different ways. Never be satisfied with a solution before considering all possibilities.

2. Continually asking questions is often the trait of a genius. Let's be obsessive! It's the only area that cannot harm us.

3. Using contrary metaphor (Castoriadis and Aristotle said the same thing), the physicist Niels Bohr said: The abandonment of logical thinking can help us to create.

4. Multiple combinations. Niels Bohr was doing it all the time... Learning to see and observe every detail. A problem should be examined from all sides. It is often by formulating various questions that new avenues of research are found. If during the day, we ask a thousand questions about a specific topic and try a thousand combinations, we should pay attention to our dreams... because our brain works for us while we sleep!

How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress.
— Niels Bohr


In the meantime, if you want to start developing an obsession with questions, you can download our interactive tool by clicking the link below.


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