See biography by R. L. Sime (1996); P. Rife, Lise Meitner and the Dawn of the Nuclear Age (1997).
(born Nov. 7, 1878, Vienna, Austria—died Oct. 27, 1968, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, Eng.) German physicist. She worked at Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (1912–38), also teaching at the University of Berlin (1926–38). At a laboratory that she set up with Otto Hahn, the two isolated the radioactive isotope protactinium-231. In the 1930s, with Hahn and Fritz Strassmann (1902–80), she investigated the products of neutron bombardment of uranium. She left Germany in 1938 for Sweden. After Hahn and Strassmann demonstrated that barium appears in neutron-bombarded uranium, she and her nephew Otto Frisch (1904–79) explained the physical characteristics of this division and in 1939 proposed the term fission for the process. She shared the 1966 Enrico Fermi Award with Hahn and Strassmann. Element 109, meitnerium, is named in her honour.
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