Hertha Sponer, German physicist

Hertha Sponer, German physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Hertha Dorothea Elisabeth Sponer (1895-1968), German physicist. Sponer studied at the University of Tubingen, and then at the University of Gottingen. It was at Tubingen that she met her future husband and fellow-physicist, James Franck (they married in 1946). A pioneer for women in science, she worked on quantum and molecular physics. When Hitler came to power in Germany, she left and moved first to Norway (University of Oslo, 1934) and then the USA (Duke University, from 1936). Her work in the 1920s included what is now called the Birge-Sponer method for determining dissociation energies.Restrictions:

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