Otto Hahn

Otto Hahn – the Father of Nuclear Chemistry

Otto Hahn – the Father of Nuclear Chemistry

On March 8, 1879, German chemist and pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry Otto Hahn was born. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for the discovery and the radiochemical proof of nuclear fission at the exclusion of his colleague Lise Meitner. He is referred to as the father of nuclear chemistry. Otto Hahn studied chemistry and mineralogy at the University of Marburg. During his third and fourth semester,…
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James Chadwick and the Discovery of the Neutron

James Chadwick and the Discovery of the Neutron

On February 27, 1932, English physicist and Nobel Laureate Sir James Chadwick published an article in the scientific journal ‘Nature‘ about the discovery of the neutron, a previously unknown particle in the atomic nucleus. James Chadwick was born and raised in Bollington, England and later studied at Manchester and Cambridge University. Just before the start of World War I, Chadwick moved to Berlin, studying at the city’s Technical University under Ernest Rutherford and Hans…
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Leo Szilard and the Atomic Bomb

Leo Szilard and the Atomic Bomb

On February 11, 1898, Hungarian-American physicist and inventor Leo Szilárd was born. He conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, patented the idea of a nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi, and in late 1939 together with Albert Einstein wrote the letter that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb. He also conceived the electron microscope, the linear accelerator, and also the cyclotron. Szilárd was born in Budapest, Hungary, as son of Louis Spitz, a…
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The First Self-Sustained Nuclear Chain Reaction

The First Self-Sustained Nuclear Chain Reaction

Time: 3:22 p.m, December 2, 1942. Place: Racquets Court under West Stands of Stagg Field, University of Chicago. Depiction of scientist(s) observed the world’s first nuclear reactor (CP-1) as it became self-sustaining, National Archives Identifier 542144 On December 2, 1942, during the Manhattan Project, a team led by Italian born physicist Enrico Fermi initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction in the Chicago Pile-1 (CP-1), the world’s first human-made nuclear reactor, and…
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Lise Meitner – The Misjudged Genius

Lise Meitner – The Misjudged Genius

Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn On October 27, 1968 the scientist Lise Meitner passed away. She is known today for her passionate and extraordinary work on radioactivity and nuclear physics along with her colleague Otto Hahn, who was honored with the Nobel Prize while Meitner stayed unrecognized. Born in 1878 in Vienna, Lise Meitner’s talents were early detected, not unusual for scientists who achieved these major efforts in their later lives. It was…
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Max Delbrück and the Genes

Max Delbrück and the Genes

Max Delbrück (1906-1981)Foto: Dr. Ernst Peter Fischer On September 4, 1906, German biophysicist and Nobel laureate Max Delbrück was born in Berlin. His best known achievement for that he won the Nobel prize was the discovy that bacteria become resistant to viruses (phages) as a result of genetic mutations. Max Delbrück’s father Hans Delbrück was a professor of history at the University of Berlin, and his mother was the granddaughter of Justus…
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