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Portrait of Fritz Strassman, German radiochemist

Portrait of Fritz Strassman, German radiochemist

H419/0230

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Fritz Strassmann. Portrait of Fritz Strassmann (1902-80), German radiochemist who, with Otto Hahn, were the first people to split the atom (nuclear fission). Strassmann and Hahn bombarded uranium atoms with slow neutrons in an attempt to make the uranium nuclei, the heaviest in nature, absorb them. In 1938 they found that this process produced a number of radioactive elements which had smaller nuclei. Although Strassmann and Hahn interpreted their results incorrectly, Meitner and Frisch were able to prove that fission was taking place.

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