SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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 realize 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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