Lise Meitner

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Lise Meitner (around 1946) Signature of Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner (born November 7, 1878 in Vienna , Austria-Hungary , as Elise Meitner ; died October 27, 1968 in Cambridge , United Kingdom ) was an Austrian nuclear physicist . Among other things, in February 1939 she and her nephew Otto Frisch published the first physical-theoretical explanation of nuclear fission , which her colleague Otto Hahn and his assistant Fritz Straßmann had initiated on December 17, 1938 and verified with radiochemical methods.

Life and work

Birthplace and memorial plaque in Vienna-Leopoldstadt

Meitner was born in Vienna- Leopoldstadt (2nd district of Vienna) in 1878 . She was the third daughter of the Jewish lawyer Philipp Meitner (1839-1910) , who came from the Mährisch Weißkirchen area , and his wife Hedwig Meitner-Skovran, who had married in 1875. At that time, her parents lived at Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse No. 27, today's Heinestrasse , in what is now the Volkertviertel part of the district. Before the family moved to “better addresses”, her father ran his office there as court and court counsel. Lise Meitner was raised Protestant . In 1908 she was baptized into the Evangelical Church.

School, university and doctorate

Memorial plaque at the Vienna Academic Gymnasium

She completed her school career at a community school , as girls were not admitted to high schools. After graduating from school, Lise Meitner passed the French teacher exam . In addition, she prepared herself for the Matura by self-study and passed the matriculation examination in 1901 at the age of 22 at the Academic Gymnasium Vienna , where her chosen profession was the realistic studies of philosophy.

In 1901 Lise Meitner began to study physics , mathematics and philosophy at the University of Vienna . Your most important academic teacher there was Ludwig Boltzmann . Already in the first years she dealt with questions of radioactivity . In 1906 she was the second woman to receive her doctorate in physics as a major at Vienna University . The title of her doctoral thesis was Examination of a Maxwell's Formula (published under the title Heat conduction in inhomogeneous bodies ), and her doctoral supervisor was Franz-Serafin Exner . She then applied to Marie Curie in Paris, albeit unsuccessfully. The first year after her doctorate she worked at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Vienna.

Research and teaching

Chemical Institute in Berlin

Hahn-Meitner-Bau of the Free University of Berlin (former Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry , today: Institute for Biochemistry of the Free University of Berlin ): former place of activity of Lise Meitner
Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn in the laboratory, Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry , 1913

In 1907 she went to Berlin for further academic training, where she primarily wanted to listen to Max Planck's lectures . There she first met the young chemist Otto Hahn , with whom she would work for the next 30 years. Like him, she worked with Hahn as an “unpaid guest” in Planck's workroom, a former woodworking workshop, in the Chemical Institute of the Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Hessische Strasse. Since women were not yet allowed to study in what was then Prussia , they always had to enter the building through the back entrance and were not allowed to enter the lecture rooms and the students' experiment rooms. This ban only fell in 1909, after women's studies were officially introduced in Prussia.

Otto Hahn discovered radioactive recoil in 1909 and with the subsequent "recoil method " Hahn and Lise Meitner also found various radioactive nuclides in the following years . Through these successes Lise Meitner made a name for herself in physics and got to know Albert Einstein and Marie Curie personally. From 1912 to 1915 she was an unofficial assistant at Max Planck.

Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry

In 1912 Hahn and Meitner's working conditions improved significantly when they started their research in the radioactivity research department of the newly founded Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in Berlin-Dahlem (today's Hahn-Meitner-Bau der Thielallee, Institute of the Free University of Berlin ). Meitner initially continued to work free of charge, but in 1913 became a scientific member of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry.

First World War

At least at the beginning of World War I , she was just as enthusiastic about the war as almost all of her colleagues at the time.

Hahn, together with James Franck and Gustav Hertz, on behalf of Fritz Haber , personally monitored the first use of chlorine gas in the Second Battle of Flanders on April 22, 1915 . At that time, the poison gas cloud surprised the enemy, around 5,000 soldiers died and around 10,000 more were injured unable to fight. Three days later, Meitner wrote to Hahn: “I congratulate you on the great success at Ypres”. However, Meitner himself was not involved in research or development of chemical warfare agents . She trained as an X-ray assistant and nurse and from July 1915 was initially employed as an X-ray nurse in the Austrian army in a hospital on the Eastern Front.

In October 1916 she returned to the institute in Berlin and worked again with Hahn, who had been transferred to Berlin in December 1916. In 1917 Hahn and Meitner discovered the chemical isotope Protactinium -231, the long-lived form of the element with the atomic number 91, which competed with the short-lived isotope Protactinium-234 (then called Brevium ), which was discovered by Kasimir Fajans and Oswald Helmuth Göhring in 1913 . (In 1949 the new element No. 91 was finally named Protactinium by the IUPAC and Hahn and Meitner confirmed as the sole discoverers).

Radiophysics department and professorship

In 1918 Lise Meitner was given her own radiophysics department for the first time with a reasonable salary and became head of the physical-radioactive department of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry. In 1922 she qualified as a professor and thereby got the right to work as a lecturer. In 1926 she became associate professor for experimental nuclear physics at Berlin University, Germany's first female professor for physics.

Withdrawal of the license to teach and expulsion from Germany

Experimental apparatus that Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Straßmann used to search for transurans from 1935 to 1938, and Otto Hahn and Fritz Straßmann discovered nuclear fission on December 17, 1938. ( Deutsches Museum , Munich )
Otto Stern , who emigrated to the United States in 1933, and Lise Meitner

At the beginning of 1933, like many others, Meitner was still confident that the consequences of the Nazi takeover of power would remain mild. Meitner was of the opinion that such times of upheaval are initially inevitably connected with all sorts of confusion, now it is a matter of reasonable restraint. Hitler's inaugural speech as Chancellor, which was broadcast on the radio, "sounded very moderate, tactful and forgiving". But as a result of the law to restore the civil service from the beginning of April 1933, Meitner's license to teach was withdrawn due to her Jewish descent; she was only able to continue her work on radiation experiments with neutrons at the (non-state) Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. In 1938, when Germany annexed Austria, Lise Meitner became a German citizen and, as a native Jew, was particularly endangered.

Nobel Institute in Stockholm

Otto Hahn was very concerned about her safety and therefore prepared, together with the Dutch chemist Dirk Coster, for her illegal departure into exile , which took place on July 13, 1938. She came to Sweden via the Netherlands and Denmark, where she continued her research at the Nobel Institute until 1946. Hahn and Meitner continued to correspond with each other. At the end of December 1938, Hahn wrote about a process that he, together with his assistant Fritz Straßmann , had discovered on the basis of extremely careful radiochemical methods and which he described as the “bursting” of the uranium nucleus.

Discovery of nuclear fission

Otto Hahn asked Lise Meitner in a letter about "bursting":

“Would it be possible that uranium 239 would burst into a ba and a measure ? I would of course be very interested to hear your judgment. Maybe you could calculate something and publish it. "

Otto Hahn kept up to date with all the experiments carried out in Berlin (he had not informed the physicists in his institute and was the only one to inform Lise Meitner of all experiments and results by letter) Otto Robert Frisch , in the essay “Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: a New Type of Nuclear Reaction”, give a first physical-theoretical interpretation (see also Ida Noddack-Tacke ) for the “bursting” of the uranium atomic nucleus formulated by Otto Hahn. Frisch coined the term “nuclear fission”, which was subsequently recognized internationally.

“It took a lot of courage that Otto Hahn was the first, and initially exclusively, to inform his colleague and lifelong friend Lise Meitner about the great discovery. - Remember: In 1938, a German institute director first informed his emigrated colleague of Jewish origin about a discovery of the century! That could easily have brought him to Sachsenhausen concentration camp . This act is one of the many examples of the untiring courage, the unshakable loyalty to friends, the honesty and straightforwardness of the great scholar. "

- Gerd Brosowski

The two fragments (atomic nuclei) that are created during the fission have a smaller mass than the original uranium atomic nucleus. Using Einstein's formula E = mc², Lise Meitner and Otto Robert Frisch calculated the energy of about 200 million electron volts per split atomic nucleus released during the fission from this mass difference .

In a later tribute, Lise Meitner wrote:

“The discovery of nuclear fission by Otto Hahn and Fritz Straßmann opened a new era in human history. The scientific achievement on which this discovery is based seems so admirable to me because it was achieved purely chemically without any theoretical guidance. "

And in a television interview (ARD, March 8, 1959) she added:

“It succeeded with an unusually good chemistry from Otto Hahn and Fritz Straßmann, with a fantastic chemistry that really nobody else was able to do at the time. The Americans learned it later. But at that time Hahn and Straßmann were really the only ones who could do that because they were such good chemists. You have really demonstrated a physical process with chemistry, so to speak. "

In the same interview, Fritz Straßmann replied more precisely:

“Professor Meitner stated earlier that the success is due to chemistry. I have to correct them a little. Because chemistry has only managed to isolate the individual substances, but not an exact identification. To do this, Professor Hahn's method was necessary. So that's his merit. "

And in her article Otto Hahn - the discoverer of uranium fission (1955) Lise Meitner explicitly emphasized:

“Hahn's most momentous achievement is undoubtedly the discovery of uranium fission, which led to the development of an almost inexhaustible source of energy with very far-reaching uses - for good or bad. How much Hahn cares about the restriction to the peaceful use of atomic energy is evident from many of his speeches and lectures. "

Even Otto Robert Frisch occasionally emphasized to avoid misunderstandings:

“This discovery, which was deservedly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1944, caused great excitement all over the world. [...] Otto Hahn called the process bursting , whereas today it is called splitting . "

Meitner, meanwhile a staunch pacifist , refused to accept research contracts for the construction of an atomic bomb , although she was repeatedly asked to do so by the USA. She preferred to stay in Sweden during World War II .

Nobel Prize for Otto Hahn

For the discovery and the radiochemical proof of nuclear fission , Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1944 in 1945 (it was only awarded in 1946). Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch were not taken into account, and in the following years they did not receive this honor either, although several physicists - including Otto Hahn himself - suggested them for the Nobel Prize in Physics.

The fact that Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch were not awarded is incomprehensible from today's perspective, especially because they wrote the theoretical explanation for the phenomenon in Stockholm. In addition, Otto Hahn set up the famous experimental set-up based on instructions from Lise Meitner. A quote from Thomas Seilnacht's biographies of important chemists makes this clear:

“The English publication was laboriously transferred from Stockholm to Copenhagen by telephone. Lise Meitner had provided two of the three decisive building blocks for the discovery of nuclear fission, namely experimental set-up and theory. Otto Hahn carried out the experiments and was initially unable to explain the phenomenon he discovered. "

The Dutch chemist Dirk Coster, who accompanied Lise Meitner on her escape in July 1938, wrote to her on the occasion of the Nobel Prize ceremony:

“Otto Hahn, the Nobel Prize! He certainly deserves it. But it is a pity that I kidnapped you from Berlin in 1938 [...] Otherwise you would have been there too. Which would certainly have been fairer. "

Lise Meitner, who had experienced the “bursting” of the uranium nucleus exclusively firsthand from Otto Hahn and who was probably the best judge of the chemical performance of her colleague, saw the Nobel Prize award ceremony very objectively. At the end of November 1945 she wrote to her friend Birgit Broomé-Aminoff:

“Hahn has certainly fully earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, there is really no doubt about that. But I believe that Frisch and I have contributed something not insignificant to the elucidation of the uranium fission process - how it comes about and that it is connected with such a great development of energy was very far from Hahn. "

Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker , Lise Meitner's former assistant, later added:

“Indeed, he deserved this Nobel Prize, and would have deserved it without making this discovery. But that a Nobel Prize was due for nuclear fission, that was probably clear to everyone. "

And about the Nobel Prize for Hahn, Otto Robert Frisch wrote in 1956:

“In my opinion, that is quite correct. The discovery of the fission of uranium [...] was the decisive observation from which everything else had to develop very quickly. "

Nevertheless, for some years now, the American chemist and feminist Ruth Lewin Sime has been of the opinion that Otto Hahn did not deserve the Nobel Prize, or not alone, and even deliberately booted Lise Meitner out so that he did not have to share it with her. He also behaved without character towards her in the post-war period. These allegations sparked a storm of indignation among experts familiar with the historical facts, but are still quoted and discussed controversially in today's literature. Ernst Peter Fischer , physicist and science historian at the University of Konstanz , even drastically described the fact that Lise Meitner did not receive a Nobel Prize as “the stupidity of the Swedish Academy”. Lise Meitner would, however, have resolutely contradicted this simplistic assessment, as she has always strictly rejected prejudices and one-sided interpretations.

"That, in my view, is precisely the great moral value of scientific training, that we must learn to be in awe of the truth, regardless of whether it agrees with our wishes or preconceived ideas or not."

- Lise Meitner

Berta Karlik , the head of the Institute for Radium Research in Vienna, also made a clear judgment and wrote to her colleague Erika Cremer :

"Since I followed the Berlin work closely at the time, and was so well known and even friends with Hahn as well as Meitner personally, I have always been of the opinion that the discovery of the split is solely due to Hahn."

In 2018, however, the assumption was made that Meitner's Swedish colleagues The Svedberg and Manne Siegbahn had intrigued against Meitner's award, partly in misjudgment of the real circumstances, partly for personal reasons .

Lise Meitner was described as the “Jewish mother of the atom bomb” and “Woman of the Year” in the American press in 1946 during a lecture tour in the USA, to her displeasure, one year after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki . For Lise Meitner it was always unthinkable to put her work in the service of a weapon of mass destruction.

Nuclear physics department at the Physics Institute

From 1947 Lise Meitner headed the nuclear physics department of the physical institute of the Royal Technical University of Stockholm and held various visiting professorships at US universities.

In the post-war period, Lise Meitner received numerous honors all over the world, especially in the Federal Republic of Germany, for example the first " Otto Hahn Prize for Chemistry and Physics" in 1955, the Order Pour le mérite for science and the arts in 1956 and the Dorothea Schlözer Medal from the Georg August University of Göttingen . Otto Hahn proposed them for all three honors. In 1959, in the presence of both namesake, the “ Hahn-Meitner Institute for Nuclear Research ” (HMI) was officially inaugurated by the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Willy Brandt . Lise Meitner always enjoyed coming to Germany on all of these occasions, as well as on private visits.

So she did not miss the opportunity to travel from Stockholm to Göttingen specifically to congratulate her friend Otto Hahn on his 80th birthday on March 8, 1959, personally and publicly:

Meitner's headstone in the cemetery in Bramley, Hampshire

“Your 80th birthday will bring you proof from all over the world that you, as a person and scientist, have earned the love, admiration and gratitude of at least two generations of people and that you are a very hard-to-reach role model for the youngest generation. May you enjoy it in health and joy for a long time to come. - In old friendship, your Lise "

In 1960 Lise Meitner moved to her nephew Otto Robert Frisch in Cambridge , where she advocated the peaceful use of nuclear fission until her death. A few months after Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner died at the age of 89 on October 27, 1968 and was buried in Bramley ( Hampshire ). The inscription on the gravestone comes from her nephew Otto Frisch:

"A physicist who never lost her humanity"

"A physicist who never lost her humanity"

Importance and merits

Berlin memorial plaque on the house at Hessische Strasse 1 in Berlin-Mitte
Memorial plaque on the house at Hessische Strasse 1 in Berlin-Mitte

Lise Meitner's work is very often reduced to the first physical-theoretical interpretation of nuclear fission, formulated in early 1939 together with Otto Frisch. This was undoubtedly of great importance for the development of the military and peaceful use of nuclear energy, but was replaced by a comprehensive theory of nuclear fission (The mechanism of nuclear fission) by Niels Bohr and John Archibald Wheeler as early as autumn 1939 .

Lise Meitner was extremely critical of the use of nuclear energy for weapon systems. In this she resembled her long-term partner Otto Hahn and other pioneers in nuclear physics such as Albert Einstein (who, however, at the suggestion of Leó Szilárd , urged President Roosevelt to build the US atomic bomb). However, Lise Meitner herself never initiated or signed any public appeal for peace, although she was asked to do so several times, and made personal statements on the subjects of 'atomic bombs, nuclear weapons tests, nuclear contamination, etc.' always held back.

In addition to the generally known work, Lise Meitner especially expanded her knowledge of the nature of radioactivity. Most of her work was studies of radioactivity , especially alpha and beta radiation . In doing so, she focused on the effect of these rays on different materials. Together with Otto Hahn, she discovered a number of radioactive isotopes, including Protactinium  231, Actinium  C and Thorium  D.

Lise Meitner also made important contributions to understanding the structure of atomic nuclei and the energy released during radioactive decay . Together with Otto Frisch, she published a series of works that explained and shed light on the physical principles of nuclear physics. In the years after 1945 in particular, she also increasingly concentrated on social issues of nuclear physics and questioned the development of nuclear weapons and the military use of nuclear energy.

Little is known about Lise Meitner's private life, but some information about it can be obtained from the published letters to and from Elisabeth Schiemann , Otto Hahn and Max von Laue . According to Otto Hahn and Max Planck, she was extremely focused in her research and worked very hard to find solutions and get results. She loved nature and liked to retire to the forest to think about theoretical problems. In addition to her research, her personal, but very cautious commitment was above all to work for peace, the careful use of nuclear energy and equal rights for women in science. She once said:

“I love physics, it's hard to imagine my life without it. It is a kind of personal love, like for someone to whom you owe a lot. And I, who suffer from a bad conscience, am a physicist with no bad conscience. "

An often-quoted but unproven statement by Meitner in a personal conversation with Hahn gives an impression of her confidential relationship with Otto Hahn:

"Chicken, you don't understand anything about physics, go upstairs!"


Memorial plaque to Lise Meitner's former place of work in Berlin (Thielallee 63; since 1948: Otto-Hahn-Bau, since 2010 Hahn-Meitner-Bau of the Free University of Berlin )
Lise Meitner's monument, designed by Anna Franziska Schwarzbach , 2014, in the courtyard of the Humboldt University Berlin

Until her death, Lise Meitner received 21 scientific (including 5 Dr. h. C. , 12 times member of various academies) and public awards for her work and life. In 1926 Meitner was elected a member of the Leopoldina and the Göttingen Academy of Sciences . In 1947 she received the City of Vienna's Honorary Prize for Science . She was the first female member of the natural science class of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and became a foreign member of the Royal Society in London in 1955 , with the right to add the abbreviation FMRS (Foreign Member of the Royal Society) after her name.

In 1949 she received the Max Planck Medal together with Otto Hahn , in 1955 the Otto Hahn Prize for Chemistry and Physics and in 1957 the most important German award, the Order Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts, from Federal President Theodor Heuss . In 1960 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .

Also in 1960 she was awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal , and in 1966 she received the Enrico Fermi Prize of the American Atomic Energy Commission together with Otto Hahn and Fritz Straßmann .

In 1967 she was awarded the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art .

Lise Meitner was nominated 48 times for the Nobel Prize, but she was denied an award. From 1937 to 1965 a total of 29 nominations for the Physics Prize were received , and from 1924 to 1948 a total of 19 nominations for the Chemistry Prize . Among those who sent in the nominations in 1948 is one from Otto Hahn, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1944 in 1945 for the discovery and radiochemical evidence of nuclear fission . Most often she was nominated by Max Planck , who submitted six nominations for the chemistry prize and one for the physics prize. Supporters who nominated her more than twice included James Franck (five nominations for physics), Oskar Klein (three nominations for physics, one for chemistry), Max Born (three nominations for physics) and Niels Bohr (two nominations for Chemistry, one for physics).

Together with Otto Hahn, she gave the Hahn Meitner Institute for Nuclear Research in Berlin its name in 1959 .

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has been awarding the Lise Meitner scholarship for women doing habilitation since 1991.

The chemical element meitnerium was named after her in 1997.

Other public institutions such as schools and streets were named after her in numerous cities.

The International Astronomical Union honored her by naming the asteroid (6999) Meitner and a crater on the Earth's moon and on Venus .

In 2008, the ABC Defense School of the Austrian Armed Forces was given the traditional name Lise Meitner .

The German Physical Society and the Austrian Physical Society have been holding the Lise Meitner Lecture every year since 2008 .

The Lise Meitner Prize for Nuclear Physics of the European Physical Society is named after her, and there is also a Lise Meitner Literature Prize .

The Fund for the Promotion of Scientific Research runs the Lise Meitner Program to promote foreign scientists in Austria.

On July 12, 2010 , a Berlin memorial plaque was installed in Berlin-Mitte , Hessische Strasse 1, and the Meitner memorial was unveiled on July 10, 2014 in the courtyard of the Humboldt University in Berlin . The building of the Institute for Physics at Humboldt University was also named after her.

In June 2016 she was honored with a bust in the arcade courtyard of the University of Vienna .

In 2018 the Max Planck Society set up a "Lise Meitner Excellence Program" to promote women scientists.


Rudolf Jaeckel was one of her doctoral students .

Publications (selection)

Lise Meitner published 169 papers, a small selection of which is presented here:

  • Heat conduction in inhomogeneous bodies . Hölder in commission, Vienna 1906, OCLC 162935454 (Dissertation: from the II. Physical institute of the kk University in Vienna, presented at the meeting on February 22, 1906, 13 pages).
  • About the absorption of the α and β rays . In: Phys. Z. band 7 , 1906, pp. 588-590 .
  • with O. Hahn: The parent substance of actinium, a new radioactive element with a long lifespan . In: Phys. Z. band 19 , 1918, pp. 208-218 .
  • with O. Hahn: About protactinium and the question of the possibility of its production as a chemical element . In: The natural sciences . tape 7 , no. 33 , 1919, pp. 611-612 , doi : 10.1007 / BF01498184 .
  • About the b-ray spectra and its connection with g-rays . In: Journal of Physics . tape 11 , 1922, pp. 35-54 .
  • About the structure of the interior of the atom . In: The natural sciences . tape 15 , no. 16 , 1927, pp. 369-378 , doi : 10.1007 / BF01504760 .
  • The relationship between β and γ rays. In: Results of the Exact Natural Sciences. No. 3, 1924
  • with M. Delbrück : The structure of atomic nuclei: natural and artificial nuclear transformations . Berlin 1935.
  • with OR Frisch: Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: a New Type of Nuclear Reaction . In: Nature . tape 143 , 1939, pp. 239-240 , doi : 10.1038 / 143239a0 .
  • with O. Hahn: Atomic Energy and Peace . In: Series of publications of the Österr. UNESCO Commission . Frick, Vienna 1954.
  • The status of women in the professions . In: Physics Today . tape 13 , no. 8 , 1960, pp. 16-21 .
  • Paths and aberrations to nuclear energy . In: Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau . tape 16 , 1963, pp. 167-169 .


  • Otto Hahn: My life. Bruckmann, Munich 1968. New edition: Piper, Munich / Zurich 1986, ISBN 3-492-00838-0 .
  • Otto Robert Frisch: Lise Meitner. In: Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society. Volume 16, November 1970, pp. 405-420.
  • Otto Robert Frisch: Meitner, Lise . In: Charles Coulston Gillispie (Ed.): Dictionary of Scientific Biography . tape 9 : AT Macrobius - KF Naumann . Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1974, p. 260-263 .
  • Maria Osiezki:  Meitner, Lise. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 16, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-428-00197-4 , pp. 731-734 ( digitized version ).
  • Sabine Ernst (Ed.): Lise Meitner to Otto Hahn. Letters from the years 1912 to 1924. Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-8047-1254-1 (= sources and studies on the history of pharmacy , volume 65, also a dissertation at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz 1992, under the title: Lise Meitner's letters to Otto Hahn from 1912 to 1924 ).
  • Jost Lemmerich (ed.): Lise Meitner - Max von Laue: Correspondence 1938–1948. ERS, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-928577-32-8 .
  • Charlotte Kerner : Lise, nuclear physicist. Beltz, Weinheim 1998, ISBN 3-407-80742-2 .
  • Patricia Rife: Lise Meitner and the Dawn of the Nuclear Age. Birkhäuser, Berlin 1999, ISBN 0-8176-3732-X .
  • Ruth Lewin Sime : Lise Meitner . A life for physics . Insel, Frankfurt am Main / Leipzig 2001, ISBN 3-458-17066-9 .
  • Lore Sexl, Anne Hardy: Lise Meitner. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2002, ISBN 3-499-50439-1 .
  • Lise Meitner: Memories of Otto Hahn. Edited by Dietrich Hahn . S. Hirzel, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-7776-1380-0 .
  • Thea Derado : In the vortex of atoms. Lise Meitner - A woman goes her way. Kaufmann, Lahr 2007, ISBN 978-3-7806-3059-9 .
  • Jost Lemmerich (Ed.): Bonds of friendship: Lise Meitner - Elisabeth Schiemann; Annotated correspondence 1911–1947. Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-7001-6847-8 .
  • Otto Hahn: From Radiothor to Uranium Fission. Vieweg, Braunschweig 1962; New edition: Vieweg-Teubner, Wiesbaden 2013, ISBN 978-3-322-98325-1 .
  • Thomas Seilnacht: From Alchemy to Modern Chemistry, Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner, DVD-ROM Chemistry, Seilnacht Verlag & Atelier, Bern 2018
  • Vera Keizer (Ed.): Radiochemistry, Diligence and Intuition. New research on Otto Hahn. GNT-Verlag, Diepholz and Berlin 2018. ISBN 978-3-86225-113-1 .
  • David Rennert, Tanja Traxler: Lise Meitner. Pioneer of the atomic age. Residenz Verlag, Salzburg 2018. ISBN 978-3-7017-3460-3 . Excerpts online at , September 29, 2018, accessed on July 3, 2020.

Audiovisual sources

Web links

Commons : Lise Meitner  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Lise Meitner always celebrated her birthday on November 7th ( F. Krafft : Lise Meitner and their time. On the hundredth birthday of the important natural scientist . In: Angewandte Chemie . 90 , 876–892 (1978). Doi : 10.1002 / anie.19780901108 ), although November 17th in the birth register of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien (Anders Ruth Lewin Sime: Lise Meitner. A Life in Physics. University of California Press, Berkeley et al. 1996, p. 1 ( limited preview in Google book search)) 1878 had been specified.
  2. ^ Lise Meitner ( Memento of December 17, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) in the Ariadne project of the Austrian National Library
  3. ^ Directory of qualified high school graduates. (...) Meitner Elise. In:  Annual report on the k. k. Academic high school in Vienna for the school year 1901/1902 , year 1902, p. 81 middle (online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / maintenance / jag.
  4. Sime: Lise Meitner. P. 17 f., Also footnotes 76, 77, ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  5. ^ German Historical Museum Berlin: First World War - Use of poison gas near Ypres 1915 .
  6. Klaus Hoffmann: Guilt and responsibility: Otto Hahn - conflicts of a scientist . Springer, 1993, ISBN 3-642-58030-0 , p. 83.
  7. PD Smith: Doomsday Men: The Real Dr Strangelove and the Dream of the Superweapon . Penguin, 2008, ISBN 978-0-14-191032-1 .
  8. Oliver H. Herde: Lise Meitner - life path and success . GRIN Verlag, 2011, ISBN 978-3-656-09017-5 .
  9. Without complaint in the cellar . In: Der Spiegel . No. 21 , 1996 ( online - May 20, 1996 ).
  10. ^ Charles S. Chiu: Women in the Shadows: Mileva Einstein-Marić, Margarete Jeanne Trakl, Lise Meitner, Milena Jesenská, and Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky. In: Austrian Culture. Volume 40, Verlag Peter Lang, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8204-8856-1 .
  11. Cf. Manfred Schroeder : Lise Meitner - On the 125th anniversary of her birthday ( PDF )
  12. ^ Lise Meitner, Otto Robert Frisch: Disintegration of uranium by neutrons: a new type of nuclear reaction . In: Nature . tape 143 , 1939, pp. 239 .
  13. Dr. Gerd Brosowski: Comment on: Petra Wilken: Otto Hahn - Under the spell of nuclear fission. In: CONDOR, Périodico Chileno-Aleman, Santiago de Chile, December 20, 2013.
  14. The four quotations come from the book: Lise Meitner: Memories of Otto Hahn . S. Hirzel Verlag , Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-7776-1380-0 , pp. 39, 50, 74.
  15. Otto Robert Frisch: Atomic energy - how it all began. In: Carl Seelig (ed.): Helle Zeit - Dark Zeit. In memoriam Albert Einstein. Verlag Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig / Wiesbaden 1986. S 124. ISBN 3-528-08934-2 .
  16. Thomas Seilnacht: From Alchemy to Modern Chemistry, Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner , DVD-ROM Chemistry, Seilnacht Verlag & Atelier, Bern 2018, available at:
  17. Lise Meitner Birgit Broomé-Aminoff, November 20, 1945. In: Anne Hardy / Lore Sexl: Lise Meitner . Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek, 2002. P. 119. ISBN 3-499-50439-1 .
  18. ^ Lise Meitner: Memories of Otto Hahn . S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-7776-1380-0 .
  19. Carl Seelig (ed.): Helle Zeit - Dark Zeit. In memoriam Albert Einstein . Europa Verlag, Zurich 1956. - Vieweg Verlag, Braunschweig, 1986, ISBN 3-528-08934-2 .
  20. See u. a .: Vera Morgenweck-Lambrinos and Martin Trömel: Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn and nuclear fission - a legend from our day. In: International journal for the history and ethics of the natural sciences, technology and medicine (NTM) No. 8, Basel 2000. pp. 65–76.
  21. Martin Trömel: Friends until death - Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 10, 2001.
  22. Aliki Nassoufis: Declaration from the Swedish exile. In: Märkische Oderzeitung . December 19, 2008, Blickpunkt p. 3 ( ).
  23. Martin Trömel: Friends until death - Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner. In: Lise Meitner: Memories of Otto Hahn. (Ed. Dietrich Hahn). S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart, 2005. P. 151. ISBN 3-7776-1380-0 .
  24. ^ Lore Sexl and Anne Hardy: Lise Meitner . Rowohlt's monographs. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 2002. P. 122.
  25. David Rennert, Tanja Traxler (2018), excerpts online from , September 29, 2018, accessed on July 3, 2020.
  26. a b In the shadow of the colleague. on: , June 21, 1996.
  27. Mother of the atomic bomb. on: , January 30, 2013.
  28. ^ List of members: Lise Meitner in: Orden pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts, 1842-2002 , Bleicher Verlag, Gerlingen, 2002, ISBN 3-88350-175-1
  29. ^ Lise Meitner: Memories of Otto Hahn . S. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-7776-1380-0 , p. 64.
  30. The grave of Lise Meitner. Klaus Knerger, accessed on May 14, 2020 .
  31. Ernst Brüche (Ed.): Physicist Anecdotes: Collected and communicated by colleagues . Physik-Verlag, Mosbach / Baden 1952, p. 33.
  32. U. a. from the Free University of Berlin [1] .
  33. ^ Member entry by Lise Meitner at the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina , accessed on April 5, 2015.
  34. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 165.
  35. Patricia Rife: Lise Meitner 1878–1968 . In: Jewish Women's Archive.
  36. The 48 nominations of Lise Meitner in the nomination archive of the Nobel Prize (English)
  37. ^ Lise Meitner scholarship from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved February 16, 2018.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  38. JPL Small-Body Database Browser 6999 Meitner (4379 T-3) accessed December 10, 2009.
  39. ^ Lise Meitner program for researchers from abroad. Fund to promote scientific research in Austria.
  40. Astrid Herbold: Great Physicist, Late Honor , Der Tagesspiegel , July 9, 2014.
  41. The Lise Meitner House (Institute for Physics)
  42. - Seven women's monuments for the University of Vienna . Article dated October 28, 2015, accessed October 28, 2015.
  43. - Arkadenhof of the University of Vienna now also houses women's monuments . Article dated June 30, 2016, accessed July 1, 2016.
  44. see website about the Lise Meitner Excellence Program on accessed March 25, 2020.
  45. Compilation (incomplete) of works as main or secondary author (PDF) .
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on September 19, 2004 in this version .