By Patricia Rife
Lise Meitner and the sunrise of the Nuclear Age, by means of J.A. Wheeler is an interesting ebook documenting the extreme lifetime of an aspiring lady scientist whose existence used to be jam-packed with adversity. Surviving either international Wars and gender discrimination, Meitner was once a pioneer on the leading edge of her self-discipline regarding the examine of radio-elements and nuclear fission. on the collage of Vienna and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, Meitner used to be encouraged to check experimental physics with a spotlight on atomic constitution by way of her such a lot memorable professors Boltzmann and Planck. Meitner's significant discovery used to be her paintings with Hahn and the splitting of the atom (nuclear fission). This enormous discovery resulted in the discovery of the atomic bomb, which enormously replaced conflict. in addition to her accomplishments Meitner was once a really inspiring lady for her energy and private conviction. Meitner slightly escaped from Nazis Germany merely to be remoted in Sweden from the overseas medical neighborhood. She helplessly watched her life of commitment and fulfillment be ignored through the Nobel Prize Committee numerous instances, basically to have Hahn obtain the entire credits. within the face of the immanent destruction of her profession and existence via the Nazis she skilled the ache of being deserted via shut colleagues. emerging above her hindrances she devoted her lifestyles to assisting sufferers of the Holocaust and refusing to paintings on chemical war or nuclear bomb learn, yet as an alternative training understanding of the ethical duties scientists had to have during this new nuclear age.
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Extra info for Lise Meitner and the Dawn of the Nuclear Age
Through contacts with other academic chemists, Hahn became a recognized member of the faculty in the university's chemistry department a year later. 50 Employment was much more tenuous for Lise Meitner, however. Although women would soon be granted legal status to be hired in the university system, it was not until 1912, nearly five years after her arrival in Berlin, that she began to receive even a modest paycheck to support her internationally-known research. 51 Berlin: 1907-1909 Thus, when we compare the scientific careers of the research partners Hahn and Meitner, or many other male-female research teams, there is a recurrent theme.
Nevertheless, I must confess that sometimes I was disturbed by his inclination to put questions about altogether personal things. At this time I was too young to comprehend that this habit of his was not the consequence of any absence of tact, but of his deep concern for every human being. Yet, it prevented me from coming into closer acquaintance with Ehrenfest. 44 Various facets of Lise's personality are revealed through this memory: her meticulous study habits ("I had carefully written down the whole series of Boltzmann's lectures"); her consistent self-effacement ("Ehrenfest was by far much better acquainted with theoretical problems than 1 was"), and her willingness to work with others for mutual benefit although she had taken all the lecture notes!
5 Not so, wrote Wilhelm Ostwald in his reply in Die Akademische Frau. Ostwald was obstinately opposed to Boltzmann's atomic theory, and in pedagogical matters, he also held strong views. For him, the "right to knowledge" for women was not the question. Without doubt, lectures and laboratory work were essential to the training of a scientist, and the role of books and Ratgeber [mentors] for women students (above and beyond their university training) was also essential. There will always be those who will serve as guides for such Studentinnen, he argued, but like Planck, he reasoned that the number of women reaching such advanced levels within the university would always be few, and as such, they would always be the exception.