Lise Meitner

This image shows the physists Lise Meitner, a renowned scientist who advanced the world of phyics. Lise Meitner Biography

Please provide a rating, it takes seconds and helps us to keep this resource free for all to use

[ 1 Votes ]

About Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner was born on November 7, 1878, in Vienna, Austria, and passed away on October 27, 1968, in Cambridge, England. A trailblazer for women in the field of physics, she was a pioneer in research on radioactivity and nuclear physics.

Meitner never married or had children. She devoted her life to her studies and scientific work. She studied at the University of Vienna and later worked at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. Forced to flee Germany during the Nazi regime due to her Jewish ancestry, she continued her research in Sweden until her retirement.

Influenced by the groundbreaking work of Marie Curie, Meitner was drawn to the mysteries of physics and was particularly intrigued by the phenomenon of radioactivity. Her relentless curiosity drove her to pursue a career in physics at a time when the field was dominated by men.

Lise Meitner's Discoveries

Perhaps Meitner's most significant discovery was the concept of nuclear fission. Working with her long-term collaborator Otto Hahn, she developed the theory to explain the experimental results that showed uranium nuclei breaking apart into smaller elements when bombarded with neutrons.

This discovery, made during a time of political turmoil and personal hardship for Meitner, became a cornerstone of nuclear physics and paved the way for the development of nuclear energy and atomic weapons, forever changing the world.

Lise Meitner's Key Achievements

Despite facing numerous challenges as a woman in science, Meitner made substantial contributions to nuclear physics and was the first woman to become a full professor of physics in Germany. While she was overlooked for the Nobel Prize in Physics awarded for the discovery of nuclear fission, she received numerous other honors, including the naming of chemical element 109 as meitnerium in her honor.

Lise Meitner's Formulas

While Meitner did not formulate mathematical equations in the same sense as some other physicists, her theoretical understanding of nuclear fission was crucial to the development of the field. This process can be represented as:

U235 + n → Ba141 + Kr92 + 3n


  1. U235: uranium-235, the isotope being split in the fission process
  2. n: a neutron, which initiates the fission
  3. Ba141: barium-141, one of the fission products
  4. Kr92: krypton-92, another fission product
  5. 3n: three additional neutrons, which can go on to cause further fissions

Lise Meitner Tutorials and Calculators

The following tutorials and calculators are influenced by the work the great physicist Lise Meitner, each calculator contains a tutorial that explains Lise Meitner in the field