Lise Meitner, Austrian physicist

Lisa Meitner

Vienna, 1878 - Cambridge, 1968

An Austrian physicist who became a Swedish citizen, she was born into a Jewish family that later converted to Christianity.

She studied at the universities of Vienna, where she entered in 1901 and received her doctorate in 1907, and in Berlin, where she entered to follow the classes of Max Planck and remained with Otto Hahn in a research that lasted more than thirty years. Together with him she discovered protactinium in 1918.

She was a professor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of the University of Berlin from 1926 to 1933. In 1938 she left Germany and joined the atomic research staff of the Manne Siegbahnla Institute at Stockholm University, where she established contact with her nephew, Otto Frisch.

Known for her research on atomic theory and radioactivity, and although she paved the way for Otto Hahn's Nobel Prize in Chemistry with her discovery of the fission point, she was never recognized as a co-author because she was Jewish. However, she received some recognition for her contributions to physics in 1966, when she was awarded the U.S. Henry Fermi Prize.

She suggested the existence of the chain reaction, thus contributing to the development of the atomic bomb. The chemical element 109 was named Meitnerium in his honor.

In addition to the discovery of the nuclear fission point, she has remained her constant struggle to be recognized as a scientist and a woman.

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