AUTHORRife, Patricia
TITLELise Meitner and the Dawn of the Nuclear Age
PUBLISHERBirkhäuser
CITYBoston, MA
DATE PUBLISHED1999
ISBN0-8176-3732-X


This biography portrays Lise Meitner, the physicist who, with her nephew Otto Frisch, in 1938 explained as nuclear fission the experimental work of chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann. By that interpretation she shattered Enrico Fermi's claim of having produced transuranic elements. Most interesting are the drama surrounding the discovery of fission and Meitner’s own quest to escape Nazi Germany. Her early academic career and experiments are explained in detail. Meitner was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Vienna. The book contains a picture section with several interesting photos of the young Meitner with colleagues, an extensive bibliography, and a chronology of the rapid evolution of physics in the 20th century. The 1999 book provides a clear and insightful view of one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century.


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