COPENHAGEN—Government cut-backs have jeopardized the survival of one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious research centers.

The Niels Bohr Institute, named in honor of the Danish pioneer of quantum theory, “will die out totally if we continue to lose permanent positions at the present rate,” said its director, Knud Hansen. “We simply cannot finance research posts for new, young scientists to replace those who are leaving through retirement and to take jobs overseas, particularly in the United States.”

Niels Bohr became the first director of his institute in 1918, when he returned to Copenhagen following four years of work with Lord Rutherford in Manchester, England. Bohr received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1922 and was involved in the Manhattan Project after fleeing occupied Denmark in 1943. His institute, which is closely affiliated with the University of Copenhagen, quickly became a mecca for physicists from through-out the world.

Although it...

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