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Otto Hahn Biography

Otto Hahn Biography


Otto Haun (1879 - 1968)

Otto Haun (1879 - 1968)

Eric Findlay/Creative Commons

Otto Hahn:

Otto Hahn was a German chemist and Nobel laureate.


March 8, 1879 in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany


July 28, 1968 in Göttingen, Germany.

Claim to Fame:

Hahn was awarded the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of nuclear fission in heavy nuclei. He bombarded uranium with neutrons and found evidence of barium. Barium is approximately half the mass of uranium and the only explanation could be that the uranium nucleus had split in two because of the neutron bombardment.

Interesting Trivia:

Hahn had a 30 year collaboration with another Austrian chemist named Lise Meitner. She was forced to move to Sweden from Germany in 1938 because she was Jewish, but the two still maintained contact by mail. When Hahn published his work, he left Meitner's name off the paper due to the political climate of Germany with the intention of adding her name at a later date. When he was awarded the Nobel Prize, he took full credit for the work and Meiter's contribution was ignored.

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