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Reply #72: Not to mention Lise Mietner [View All]

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Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-21-06 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
72. Not to mention Lise Mietner
Edited on Thu Dec-21-06 01:13 PM by Marie26
Who discovered nuclear fission, but was deprived of the Nobel Prize.

"In 1905, she obtained her PhD in physics, the first woman to do so at that university. After she obtained her doctorate degree, she went to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin in 1907 to study with Max Planck and work with the chemist Otto Hahn... After Nazi Germany annexed Austria in 1938, Dirk Coster persuaded Meitner that she should flee Germany for Sweden. She continued her work at Manne Siegbahn's institute in Stockholm, but with little support, partially due to Siegbahn's prejudice against women in science.... It was politically impossible for the exiled Meitner to publish jointly with Hahn in 1939. Hahn published the chemical findings in January 1939 and Meitner published the physical explanation the following month with her nephew, physicist Otto Robert Frisch, and named the process "nuclear fission".<2> Meitner recognized the possibility for a chain reaction of enormous explosive potential. This report had an electrifying effect on the scientific community. ... Meitner refused an offer to work on the project at Los Alamos, declaring "I will have nothing to do with a bomb!"

In 1944, Hahn received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of nuclear fission. In the opinion of many scientists, Meitner should have shared the prize. The omission may have been due to Hahn's public claims that the discovery was solely the work of chemistry; speculation also persists that as Siegbahn was a Nobel committee member his antipathy toward Meitner played a role as well."
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