Maria Goeppert-Mayer, nuclear physicist

Maria Goeppert-Mayer, nuclear physicist

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Credit: US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1906-1972), German-US nuclear physicist. Goeppert-Mayer is best known for her work on the Manhattan Project, which produced the first atomic bomb. She was appointed as professor of physics at the University of Chicago in 1946. Here, she worked on the Nuclear Shell Model, developing the concept of magic numbers (the numbers of protons or neutrons that occur in very stable atomic nuclei). She shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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