The Scientist Who Won Free Beer For Life

Samuel Reason | October 7th, 2018

Niels Bohr is one of the early scientists who worked on quantum physics and allowed great leaps in knowledge for this domain. But he is also known for receiving one some may believe as the greatest gift in the world: free beer for life.

When Niels Bohr received the Nobel prize in 1922 for his quantum physics work, not only did he receive the prize and the award money; he also was lucky enough to find himself with a lifetime supply of beer. Living in Copenhagen he became a national symbol for Denmark and many mark Bohr’s achievements as the inspiration that created the next wave of great Danish scientists.

So it was not much a surprise that after he won, the Carlsberg brewery decided to give him a house right next to their factory. As a result they simply put a tap connected to a pipe that went straight into the factory, allowing Bohr to have a lifetime supply of beer. Carlsberg was looking for a famous Danish scientist that could take their brewing to the next level.

There it was not entirely a gift, the brewery also had a lab on the site which was dedicated to research that would improve beer brewing techniques. As part of the deal of receiving free beer for life Bohr was expected to help Carlsberg with their brewing research. This was because Carlsberg had a great passion for innovation in the beer brewing industry, they are in fact the company that created the first pale ales.

So how did Bohr continue to operate with free beer around him all the time? Well there is actually some research that shows being drunk can be a way to open up your mind to further creativity, maybe in Bohr’s case, it was the answer he needed. Because he then went on to create the research that allowed feats such as the nuclear bomb or nuclear energy to happen.

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