Bohr Bug

What Does Bohr Bug Mean?

A Bohr bug is an error, flaw or failure that appears under consistent and quantifiable conditions.
The Bohr bug is named after the atomic model developed by Danish physicist Niels Bohr.


There is a rough similarity, in that like the atomic model, the Bohr bug conforms to certain kinds of logic, in this case, programming logic.

Techopedia Explains Bohr Bug

The opposite of a Bohr bug is a Heisenberg bug, one that cannot be easily replicated under commonly defined conditions.

Programmers or IT professionals refer to a Bohr bug as a ‘good solid blog’ or an ‘easy bug’ because identifying and fixing it is simply a matter of running the identifiable conditions and checking for errors.

By contrast, a Heisenberg bug as an indeterminate kind of bug is much more difficult to fix, illustrated, for example, in Ellen Ullman’s groundbreaking IT novel of the 1980s simply titled "The Bug."

The terms ‘Heisenberg bug’ and Heisenberg principle have also been made more familiar in pop culture through the recent television show "Breaking Bad", where the main character, Walter White, identifies himself as Heisenberg, an alter ego. This may have led to the advanced popularity of these kinds of terms in discussing computer programming or computer science and other scientific disciplines.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.