Meitner and Hahn, German chemists, 1913

Meitner and Hahn, German chemists, 1913

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

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Caption: Meitner and Hahn, German chemists, in their Dahlem laboratory, Germany, in 1913. Lise Meitner (left, 1878-1968) and Otto Hahn (1879-1968) worked together for nearly 30 years. In the 1930s they worked on uranium bombarded with neutrons, but they did not realise fission was occurring. In 1938, Meitner (who was Jewish) fled Nazi Germany to Sweden. By 1939, both Hahn and Meitner had worked out that nuclear fission was taking place. This led to the building of the first atomic bomb. Hahn received the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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