History of Nuclear Weapons -- Lisa Meitner's role

  • #1
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Greetings to such good forum!
I cannot abandon the Science despite of all my attempts... :D So recently I have started discussion with one Scientifist, on the another forum. The topic of discussion was a role of Mass-Energy-Speed of light formula in development of Nuclear Weapon. I have stated that this formula was cricial.


According to this: Chemical evidence of the transmutation of elements, about the possibility of explosion peoples talking long ago. According to this, A Review Essay: “Lise Meitner and the Dawn of the Nuclear Age”, by Patricia Rife, miss Meitner played a crucial role in that process.

So what actually role of famous E = MC2, and particularly Lisa Meitner in the development of Nuclear Weapon concept?

P. S. Thanx for the answers, sorry for my English, frostysh.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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It was as so often in science the circumstances. She attended lectures of Planck, worked for decades with Otto Hahn and some say, it was her, who contributed the major parts. She also had the opportunity to meet with Curie and Einstein. As women at the time weren't allowed to study or even habilitate, resp. it was only slowly changing, parts of her work are hidden behind Hahn. Wikipedia has a quotation of Hahn, which shows, that Meitner had been the analytical part of their collaboration:
Would it be possible for the uranium 239 to burst into a Ba and a Ma [later Tc]? Of course I would be very interested to hear your judgment. Maybe you could calculate and publish something.
 
  • #3
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It was as so often in science the circumstances. She attended lectures of Planck, worked for decades with Otto Hahn and some say, it was her, who contributed the major parts. She also had the opportunity to meet with Curie and Einstein. As women at the time weren't allowed to study or even habilitate, resp. it was only slowly changing, parts of her work are hidden behind Hahn. Wikipedia has a quotation of Hahn, which shows, that Meitner had been the analytical part of their collaboration:
A very interesting, I will use this quote. Is there any data about Meitner and Hahn letters in public access? My thoughts for now is Hahn's mind vector has been curved by ideology, those he with a purpose, manually downgrade Meitner's role and role of energy-mass equation, there was "Deutche Phisik" in that times :D and other circus. — This is topic of my discussion with the Scientist on the other forum.

I have found a large stuff about miss Meitner's life, after read something I will probably have more to say: Lise Meitner. A Life in Physics.
 
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  • #4
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A very interesting, I will use this quote. Is there any data about Meitner and Hahn letters in public access? My thoughts for now is Hahn's mind vector has been curved by ideology, those he with a purpose, manually downgrade Meitner's role and role of energy-mass equation, there was "Deutche Phisik" in that times :D and other circus. — This is topic of my discussion with the Scientist on the other forum.
No, this is wrong. They knew each other since many years before, around 1907. Also from Wikipedia:
"It took a lot of courage for Otto Hahn to inform his colleague and lifelong friend Lise Meitner first and exclusively about the big discovery. Consider: In 1938, a German director of the institute informs his emigrated Jewish colleague about a discovery of the century first! That could easily have taken him to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. This act is one of many examples of the undaunted courage, unshakeable friendliness, honesty, and straightforwardness of the great scholar."
I'm not sure whether I would put him as high, but it's certainly closer to the truth than just a look at the external circumstances. It's difficult to subtract Hahn and Strassmann such that Meitner alone is left. It is always difficult, but in particular with the given discrimination of women and later Jews at the time. Here's one possible source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ciuz.19930270608 but I guess, to do it right, some historical research is due.
 
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  • #5
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No, this is wrong. They knew each other since many years before, around 1907. Also from Wikipedia:

I'm not sure whether I would put him as high, but it's certainly closer to the truth than just a look at the external circumstances. It's difficult to subtract Hahn and Strassmann such that Meitner alone is left. It is always difficult, but in particular with the given discrimination of women and later Jews at the time. Here's one possible source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ciuz.19930270608 but I guess, to do it right, some historical research is due.
I have made some conclusions after read the book mentioned above:

1) Meinter and Hahn indeed know each other a very well, perhaps too well, ~30 years of work side-by-side.
2) It's looks like Meitner has a difficult character, and probably have a leadership in their team.
3) They have somekind of the mutual agreement, that 'chemical' and 'physical' aspect of their work must be separeted in publications, Meitner published in Phys Journal, Han in Chemical, but about the same topic :)
4) The times in which they living for, was a not very bright... Discriminations, difficult political situations, and so on.
5) Hahn himself softy to be said, not very like nazism/fascism and so on (like most of Scientists in that times, especially Physicists, especially Theoretical Physicists). They have took Strassman in their team, mostly because of he non involved in nazi party and so on :)
6) Circus that began in 30-th years, most horrificaly changed the life of many good Physicists, especially Meitner. Hahn helped Meitner to escape of that madness, and even gave she a family ring of his grandmother.
7) Hahn was in danger himself, his only child has been recruited into hitler-youth, and Hahn was forced to prove such nonsense as his 'aryan inherit'.
8) Still, he was too passive. And scared to be thrower off from the Institute, those he avoided to mention Meitner proper, even in references, despite of her providing research that was minimum 50% percent of work, for which Han have obtained Noble Prize. Strassman confirmed a leading position in research by Meitner, even after they has been separated.
9) Well, Physics means to much for Meitner, so the such ignorance was a serious blow for she. Nevermind, after war, it's looks like they still be a friends.
 

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