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The Life and Science of Harold C. Urey$
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Matthew Shindell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226662084

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226662114.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 May 2022

From Industrial Chemistry to Copenhagen

From Industrial Chemistry to Copenhagen

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter Two From Industrial Chemistry to Copenhagen
Source:
The Life and Science of Harold C. Urey
Author(s):

Matthew Shindell

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226662114.003.0003

This chapter traces Harold C. Urey's life after the end of World War I up through his time as a fellow in Niels Bohr's Institute in Copenhagen. After the end of the war, Urey returned to Montana briefly, where he taught courses in the chemistry department. He soon decided to pursue a graduate degree in chemistry, and he applied and was accepted at the University of California in Berkeley, California. In Berkeley, he worked with Gilbert Lewis and the chemists he had gathered in Gilman Hall. Urey also worked with the Berkeley physicists, chiefly Raymond T. Birge. When Urey finished his graduate work, Birge and Lewis encouraged him to spend a year with Bohr in Copenhagen and wrote letters on his behalf to secure his spot. Urey found an active group of theoretical physicists at work in Copenhagen. He learned to speak the language of quantum physics while in Copenhagen, and also learned that he did not possess the mathematical ability to contribute original work to this new field.

Keywords:   Gilbert N. Lewis, Raymond T. Birge, Niels Bohr, quantum physics, University of California, Berkeley

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