Lise Meitner

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   November 7, 1878
   Vienna, Austria
No image available
   October 27, 1968
   Cambridge, England
Lise Meitner discovered nuclear fission, together with Otto Hahn.

Lise Meitner was the third of eight children of a Jewish family. She entered the University of Vienna in 1901, studying physics under Ludwig Boltzmann. After she achieved doctorate degree, she went to Berlin in 1907 to study with Max Planck and the chemist Otto Hahn. She worked together with Hahn for 30 years, each of them leading a section in Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry.

After Austria was annexed by Germany in 1938, Meitner emigrated to work at Manne Siegbahn's institute in Stockholm, but stayed in contact with Hahn. On November 13, 1938, Hahn met secretly with Meitner in Copenhagen. In 1939, both Meitner and Hahn published independently their proof of nuclear fission.

In 1945, Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics, and Meitner was ignored by the Nobel comittee. This was partially corrected in 1966, when Hahn and Meitner together were awarded the Fermi Prize.