A television adaptation of Michael Frayn's celebrated and award-winning stage play about the meeting between physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in 1941 Copenhagen. At this time the... See full summary »

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Magrethe Bohr
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A television adaptation of Michael Frayn's celebrated and award-winning stage play about the meeting between physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in 1941 Copenhagen. At this time the young Heisenberg was leading a faltering German research program into nuclear energy, while the middle-aged and apparently isolated Bohr was in contact with allied agents, and still held a position of great influence in the nuclear physics research community. After the meeting the two men put different interpretations or impressions of why Heisenberg requested the meeting, and what he hoped to gain from it, a theme which mirrors the ambiguity of the "Copenhagen" interpretation widely used in quantum physics. Did Heisenberg go to the avuncular Bohr to seek his blessing for his role in nuclear research? Why did Heisenberg concentrate on the development of a nuclear reactor, and not perform the calculations which would show that a bomb could be made to work via a fast-neutron reaction in Uranium 235? ... Written by Simon Shearn

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Drama | History | War

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27 September 2002 (UK)  »

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Copenhage  »

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Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Copenhagen" by Michael Frayn opened at the Royale Theater on April 11, 2000, ran for 326 performances and won the 2000 Tony Award for the Best Play. Michael Frayn's script was used as the basis of the screenplay for the movie version. See more »

Goofs

When Bohr digresses on the fission chain reaction, he indicates that one fissioned uranium atom is enough to move a speck of dust, then "until eventually after, let's say eighty generations, two hundred and eighty specks of dust have been moved, enough specks of dust to constitute an entire city." Rather than 280, the number is 2^80, as the result of eighty doublings (indicating the rather important carat exponent symbol was left out of the script or omitted by the actor). The number reads as two to the eightieth power... about a trillion trillion. See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #18.3 (2005) See more »

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An excellent film
21 January 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Over the years the meeting between two old friends, physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, which took place in Copenhagen during 1941, has been the subject of much speculation. In particular, Heisenberg's motives for calling the meeting have been scrutinized and brought into question given the nature of his work at the time on the Nazi's nuclear programme.

The structure of the screenplay brilliantly examines the varying interpretations of what took place during the meeting in a way that borrows from Eisenberg's Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.

I thought that the performances were, as you would expect from Francesca Annis, Daniel Craig and Stephen Rea, flawless, and despite the seemingly dry subject matter of a meeting between two physicists to discuss nuclear physics, I found the plot gripping.

I found it extremely enjoyable and would recommend it to anybody who enjoys a thought provoking story (regardless of the extent of their knowledge of nuclear physics!)


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