Otto Hahn

Facts

Otto Hahn

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Otto Hahn

Born: 8 March 1879, Frankfurt-on-the-Main, Germany

Died: 28 July 1968, Göttingen, West Germany (now Germany)

Affiliation at the time of the award: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut (now Max-Planck Institut) für Chemie, Berlin-Dahlem, Germany

Prize motivation: "for his discovery of the fission of heavy nuclei."

Otto Hahn received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1945.

Prize share: 1/1

Work

The discovery of the neutron in 1932 provided a powerful new tool for investigating atoms. When Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman irradiated uranium with neutrons in 1939, they created barium, which was far too light an element to be a decay product of uranium. Otto Hahn's long-time colleague, Lise Meitner, and her nephew, Otto Frisch, tackled the problem from a theoretical standpoint and proved that the uranium nucleus had been split. The phenomenon, later called "fission", proved important in developing nuclear weapons and energy.

To cite this section
MLA style: Otto Hahn – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Sun. 23 Sep 2018. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/1944/hahn/facts/>

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