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Internal and External Conditions for the Discovery of Nuclear Fission by the Berlin Team

  • Fritz Krafft
Chapter
Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 22)

Abstract

My subject concerns the constellation of conditions which led to the discovery of nuclear fission by Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, and Fritz Strassmann.1 It is on purpose that I mention all three names of the Berlin team and that I order them alphabetically, in spite of the fact that today Hahn is usually credited with the discovery of the fission of heavy nuclei. Stressing Hahn’s name, however, ignores the fact that Hahn himself called Fritz Strassmann a codiscoverer. It is absolutely wrong to attribute Hahn’s attitude to modesty and to regard that as the motive that caused him to let his young assistant share his fame. I am much more convinced that it was the cooperationof all three scientists, including Lise Meitner, which gave rise to the discovery — at least in the way that it was done, with extremely weak radioactive samples, and as early as it was done.

Keywords

External Condition Nuclear Fission Barium Chloride Alpha Decay Beta Emitter 
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References

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fritz Krafft
    • 1
  1. 1.Johannes Gutenberg-Universität MainzGermany

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