Distinguished Women of Past and Present


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Lise Meitner

From: Austria, Sweden, United Kingdom
Fields: Education, Physics
Key Words/Phrases: co-discovered nuclear fission, missed out on the Nobel Prize
Meitner, Lise (1878-1968), Austrian-Swedish physicist, who first identified nuclear fission. She was born in Vienna and educated at the universities of Vienna and Berlin. In association with the German physical chemist Otto Hahn, she helped discover the element protactinium in 1918, and was a professor of physics at the University of Berlin from 1926 to 1933. In 1938 she left Germany and joined the atomic research staff at the University of Stockholm. In 1939 Meitner published the first paper concerning nuclear fission (see Nuclear Energy). She is also known for her research on atomic theory and radioactivity. In her work she predicted the existence of chain reaction, which contributed to the development of the atomic bomb (see Nuclear Weapons). In 1946 she was visiting professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and in 1959 she revisited the U.S. to lecture at Bryn Mawr College.

"Meitner, Lise" Microsoft Encarta.
Copyright 1995 Microsoft Corporation.


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