AUTHORHoffmann, Klaus
TITLEOtto Hahn: Achievement and Responsibility
CITYNew York, NY

This biography presents Otto Hahn, the German chemist who received the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of nuclear fission. It begins with his early life, including his work during World War I on chemical warfare. His work with Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann that led to the discovery of fission is presented in some detail. The author indicates that Hahn contributed little to the German scientific efforts during World War II that would have been useful in constructing an atomic bomb. However, the author feels that at one time Hahn felt partly responsible for the detonation of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki because he had discovered fission. Hahn soon came to the conclusion that he had done the right thing and that it was the politicians who had made the mistake of using the weapon. After World War II Hahn spent his life speaking out against nuclear weapons. The book was originally written in German; the translator, J. Michael Cole, provides notes about discrepancies between the text and information that became available after the book was first published.

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