This exhibit reveals how two women endured incredible challenges during an era when women were not welcome in the field of scientific discovery. Despite a lack of financial support, unsophisticated academic facilities, and little recognition of their endeavors, they persevered and triumphed.
Marie Sklodowska Curie and her husband Pierre Curie experimented together and discovered two radioactive elements, polonium and radium. They worked four years to acquire a very small quantity of radium in order to prove there really was such an element. In 1903, Pierre and Marie along with Henri Becquerel received the Nobel Prize in physics for their work and their discovery of radioactivity. In 1911 she received a second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, for her work in radioactivity. She was the first person ever to win two Nobel Prizes and the only person ever to win Prizes in two sciences.
Lise Meitner worked with Otto Hahn. She and Hahn discovered a radioactive element and named it protactinium. Although she collaborated heavily with him, Hahn, received the credit for the work. In 1938, she escaped Germany with no personal possessions, eventually locating to Stockholm, Sweden. In 1944 Hahn would receive the Nobel Prize in chemistry for the interpretation of nuclear fission. Meitner was not mentioned, leading many to say this was the greatest oversight ever made by the Nobel Prize committee. In 1997, twenty-nine years after her death, the chemical element 109, the heaviest known element was named Meitnerium in her honor.
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Register today for our "Science is Everywhere" Summer Camp, taking place May 31 - August 5, 2016, for children 6-16 years. These week-long sessions include topics such as "Atomic Comics," "Get Glowing," "Voyage to the Deep" and more!Learn More
The Museum will restore the exterior of its B-52B Stratofortress this Spring and Summer! With a surface area of over 2/3 of an acre, and with paint costing $460 per gallon, this will be a huge undertaking. Help us restore this iconic aircraft today!Learn More
Join us for one of the most beautiful events of the year! Come celebrate the 20th Annual Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Festival on Saturday, May 14, from 10 am to 3 pm. A day of dancing, martial arts, food sampling, origami and more!Learn More