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Niels Bohr Institute > Who, What, When > > Physics tour in CPH > Øster Voldgade 5-7

18 August 2009

Geological Museum, Øster Voldgade 5-7

Øster Voldgade 5-7  

Geological Museum

The present Geological Museum was opened in 1893 and was called the Mineralogical Museum, an institution that can be traced back to 1772, when the University of Copenhagen's New Natural Theater was inaugurated in Nørregade, near the University.

A fresco painting by O. Matthiesen (1916) on the wall of the staircase shows Niels Steensen in the Tuscany countryside outside Florence sketching a sedimentary formation at the moment when his practiced eye sees that these strata must have been formed under water and then elevated by volcanic forces. There is an inscription under the picture:

NICOLAO STENONI GEOLOGIAE PARENTI HONORIS CAUSA
(In honor of Niels Steensen, father of geology).

The collection of minerals in the museum contains a number of samples of Norwegian zirconium-rich minerals, which were used by George de Hevesy and Dirk Coster in 1922 in their effort to identify the X-ray lines expected for an element of atomic number 72. They succeeded and named the element Hafnium, Latin for Copenhagen.

Geological Museum:  geologi.snm.ku.dk

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