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The Woman Who Split the Atom: The Life of Lise Meitner

The Woman Who Split the Atom: The Life of Lise Meitner

by Marissa Moss
The Woman Who Split the Atom: The Life of Lise Meitner

The Woman Who Split the Atom: The Life of Lise Meitner

by Marissa Moss


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Bestselling author-illustrator Marissa Moss tells the gripping story of Lise Meitner, the physicist who discovered nuclear fission

As a female Jewish physicist in Berlin during the early 20th century, Lise Meitner had to fight for an education, a job, and equal treatment in her field, like having her name listed on her own research papers.

Meitner made groundbreaking strides in the study of radiation, but when Hitler came to power in Germany, she suddenly had to face not only sexism, but also life-threatening anti-Semitism as well. Nevertheless, she persevered and one day made a discovery that rocked the world: the splitting of the atom. While her male lab partner was awarded a Nobel Prize for the achievement, the committee refused to give her any credit.

Suddenly, the race to build the atomic bomb was on—although Meitner was horrified to be associated with such a weapon. “A physicist who never lost her humanity,” Meitner wanted only to figure out how the world works, and advocated for pacifism while others called for war.

The book includes an afterword, author's note, timeline, select terms of physics, glossary of scientists mentioned, endnotes, select bibliography, index, and Marissa Moss’s celebrated drawings throughout. The Woman Who Split the Atom is a fascinating look at Meitner’s fierce passion, integrity, and her lifelong struggle to have her contributions to physics recognized.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683358275
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 04/05/2022
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 510,654
File size: 18 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Marissa Moss is the bestselling author of the Amelia series, Barbed Wire Baseball, and Nurse, Soldier, Spy. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Table of Contents

1 Dreams of the Impossible 1

2 Education at Last! 5

3 A Professor with No Profession 7

4 A Partnership Better than Marriage 13

5 The New Science of Radioactivity 16

6 Out of the Dark 21

7 War and Science 26

8 Back in the Lab 33

9 After the War 36

10 A Professor at Last 40

11 "Jewish" Physics vs. "Aryan" Physics 45

12 Hitler Takes Power 50

13 Boycott The Jews! 53

14 A Talk with Hitler about Science 57

15 To Go or To Stay 60

16 The Nazification of Science 64

17 Can It Get Worse? 72

18 The New Radioactive Physics 75

19 The Jewess Must Go 78

20 Passport Problems 85

21 How to Smuggle a Scientist 92

22 Success or Failure? 99

23 A Narrow Escape 102

24 A Brilliant Enough Physicist? 111

25 An Atomic Mystery 115

26 The Atom Splits! 119

27 The Impossible is Possible! 123

28 The Power of Nuclear Fission 131

29 A Letter from Einstein 138

30 The Race for the Bomb 142

31 A Lab of One's Own 146

32 Another Physicist Escapes 153

33 The German Nuclear Program 156

34 What to Do with Nazi Scientists? 161

35 Ihe Mother of the Bomb 170

36 Ihe Americans Did What?! 174

37 Meitner in America 179

38 The Nobel Prize for Nuclear Fission Goes To 182

39 After the War: Working for Nuclear Peace 187

40 A Prize of Her Own 192

Afterword 197

Author's Note 201

Timeline of Meitner's Life and Achievements 205

Glossary of Select Terms in Physics 216

Profiles of Scientists Mentioned 218

Notes 231

Select Bibliography 250

Image Credits 251

Acknowledgments 252

Index 253

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