Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner

Vienna, Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria
Death 27 Oct 1968 (aged 89)
Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Burial Bramley, Basingstoke and Deane Borough, Hampshire, England
Memorial ID 15166236 · View Source
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Nuclear Physicist. Discovered nuclear fission in conjunction with her nephew Otto Frisch. After receiving her doctorate from Vienna University in February 1906 she moved to Berlin and obtained a post working with Otto Hahn on radioactivity. In 1918 they announced the discovery of the 91st element, protactinium. She became a professor of physics at Berlin University in 1926 but, despite having converted to Christianity in 1908, her Jewish origins caused her increasing problems with the Nazis and so she moved in 1933 to the Institute of Physics at Stockholm University. Whilst there she received news Hahn and Strassmann had bombarded uranium with neutrons and had found radioactive isotopes of much higher elements such as barium, cerium, krypton and sstrontium. They were unable to explain this and so contacted her. She and Otto Frisch concluded that nuclei of uranium 238 were being split into two nearly equal parts. They called this fission. They calculated that as there was a loss of mass there must, according to Einstein, be an increase in energy. Frisch verified this experimentally at the Bohr Institute in Copenhagen and the pair published their results in 'Nature' in February 1939. Lise eventually moved to Cambridge, England where she died. She is buried in the churchyard of St. James's, Bramley, Hampshire, near to her nephew Walter Meitner whose son Philip farmed at nearby Sherfield on Loddon for many years. Her headstone reads 'A physicist who never lost her humanity'. Element 109 is named meitnerium in her honour.

Bio by: Jeremy Fellows

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Jeremy Fellows
  • Added: 6 Aug 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 15166236
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lise Meitner (17 Nov 1878–27 Oct 1968), Find a Grave Memorial no. 15166236, citing St James Churchyard, Bramley, Basingstoke and Deane Borough, Hampshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .