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date: 15 August 2020

Lise Meitner 1878–1968
Austrian physicist 

  1. I will have nothing to do with a bomb!
    On refusing an invitation to join a group of British scientists, including Otto Robert Frisch, to go to Los Alamos to work on the atomic bomb in 1943
    Ruth Sime, Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (1996), 305
  2. No-one really thought of fission before its discovery.
    Oral History Interview with Thomas S. Kuhn (Otto Robert Frisch present) 12 May 1963, Archive for the History of Quantum Physics, 18–20. Ruth Sime, Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (1996), 371
  3. Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.
    Lecture, Austrian UNESCO Commision, 30 March 1953, in Atomenergie und Frieden: Lise Meitner und Otto Hahn (1953), 23–4. Trans. Ruth Sime, Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (1996), 375
  4. O. Hahn and F. Strassmann have discovered a new type of nuclear reaction, the splitting into two smaller nuclei of the nuclei of uranium and thorium under neutron bombardment. Thus they demonstrated the production of nuclei of barium, lanthanum, strontium, yttrium, and, more recently, of xenon and caesium. It can be shown by simple considerations that this type of nuclear reaction may be described in an essentially classical way like the fission of a liquid drop, and that the fission products must fly apart with kinetic energies of the order of hundred million electron-volts each.
    ‘Products of the Fission of the Urarium Nucleus’, Nature, 1939, 143, 471
  5. on Meitner
    The subject, cosmic physics, of her inaugural lecture was reported as ‘cosmetic physics’ in the press (more plausible with a female Dozent!).
    Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1970, 16, 408
  6. on Meitner
    Lise Meitner: a physicist who never lost her humanity.
    The inscription chosen on her tombstone in St. James’ Church, Bramley, Hampshire
    Ruth Sime, Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (1996), 380
  7. on Meitner: Einstein referred to Lise Meitner as:
    Our Marie Curie.
    Ruth Sime, Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (1996), 74–5
  8. on Meitner
    Ihre Arbeit ist gekrönt worden mit dem Nobel Preis für Otto Hahn.
    Her work has been crowned by the Nobel Prize for Otto Hahn.
    Said of her research