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Exhibits

Inspired Excellence: The story of Marie Sklodowska Curie and Lise Meitner

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.

Learn more about the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History's Traveling Exhibits.

October 17-21, 2016

Celebrate all aspects of nuclear science during the 7th Annual Nuclear Science Week (NSW), October 17-21, 2016. Activities during the week are intended to build awareness of the contributions of the nuclear science industry and those who work in it every day.

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America's Road: The Journey of Route 66

Visitors will share in the history and fascination of one of the world's most famous highways, and everyone will experience stories, artifacts, music, images and interactive components that tell the story of the iconic Route 66, May 14 through September 25.

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STEaM Photography Competition

We invite you to share your photographic talent and eye for everything that is Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEaM). Any individual, from a professional photographer to a student with a camera phone, may submit a photograph to this competition! Now through September 16, 2016.

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Membership Camp