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Lise Meitner

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Lise Meitner was an Austrian physicist who was also a part of the discovery of Nuclear Fission. She was born on November 7, 1878 to Jewish parents and her father was an attorney in Austria. Lise was one of the few students who attended the University of Vienna.

In 1906, she became the second women ever to earn a Ph.D. in physics from the university. The following year, she went to the Institute for Experimental Physics in Berlin to study with the noted physicist Max Planck. She was the first woman allowed by Max Planck to attend his lectures and after a year became his assistant.


Quick Facts: –

  • During the World War I, Lise Meitner volunteered to work as an X-ray technician in the  Austrian army.
  • Albert Einstein called her ‘German Marie Curie’ because of her involvement in the discovery of Nuclear Fission.
  • In 1923, she discovered the radiationless transition which is known as the Auger effect.
  • This phenomenon is named after Pierre victor Auger who actually discovered it two years later.
  • In 1926, she became the first woman in Germany to take a full professorship in Physics at the University of Berlin.
  • After moving to Berlin, she worked with Otto Hahn at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry for about 30 years.
  • Meitner became a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science in 1945. After becoming a Swedish citizen in 1949, she had her status changed.
  • To acknowledge her work, the chemical element 109 was named Meitnerium after her in 1997.
  • Meitnerium is the heaviest known element in the entire universe.
  • Lise Meitner died on October 17, 1968 in Cambridge, England. She was 89 years old at that time.



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