Lisa Meitner New York Times


Famous For

After coming to Berlin for further education and research work, Lise Meitner started working on the new field of radioactivity with Otto Hahn. Her partnership and friendship with Hahn lasted a lifetime. Meitner and Hahn discovered a new radioactive element, protactinium, in 1918. Meitner is probably best known for explaining, with another fellow physicist Otto Robert Frisch, some strange experimental results. They had concluded that the nucleus had actually split in two halves, that later became known as the process of fission.

Early lIfe story

Born into a prosperous Jewish family in Vienna, Lise Meitner’s father was a prominent Jewish lawyer in Austria. She chose to convert to Christianity, being baptized in 1908.

Heavily motivated and influenced by her mentor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Meitner studied physics, becoming the second woman to earn a doctoral degree in physics from the University of Vienna in 1905.