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Ben R. Mottelson

Science Talent Search – 1944

About Ben R. Mottelson*

Ben R. Mottelson is a renowned theoretical nuclear physicist who competed in the 1944 STS. After obtaining his doctoral degree from Harvard University, he moved to Denmark to conduct research for the Niels Bohr Institute and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). He taught as a professor at the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Atomic Physics from 1957–1994. Mottelson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1975 for his theories on the asymmetrical shape of nuclei which changed the scientific community’s understanding of subatomic particle structures.

* = Deceased

Science Talent Search 1944

A participant in the third STS, Mottelson won a prize for his project on amateur telescope-making. His favorite part of the experience, however, was “the opportunity to speak personally with the many scientists who were there.”

Notable Alumni - Ben R. Mottelson

The 1975 Nobel Prize

In 1975, Ben Mottelson, Aage Bohr and James Rainwater were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. This Science News article reported on the award.

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Prior to becoming a professor, Mottelson was part of CERN’s Theoretical Study Group in Copenhagen.

Notable Alumni - Ben R. Mottelson
Ola Jakup Joensen