EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Hahn and Meitner, German chemists, working in the laboratory. Otto Hahn (1879-1968, at left) and Lise Meitner (1878-1968) worked together in Berlin for nearly 30 years. In the 1930s they worked on uranium bombarded with neutrons, initially not realising that fission was occurring. In 1938, Meitner fled Nazi Germany (she was Jewish) 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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