The woman who split the atom Lise Meitner

Marissa Moss

Book - 2022

"As a female Jewish physicist in Berlin during the early 20th century, Lise Meitner had to fight for an education, a job, and equal treatment in her field, like having her name listed on her own research papers. Meitner made groundbreaking strides in the study of radiation, but when Hitler came to power in Germany, she suddenly had to face not only sexism, but also life-threatening anti-Semitism as well. Nevertheless, she persevered and one day made a discovery that rocked the world: the sp...litting of the atom. While her male lab partner was awarded a Nobel Prize for the achievement, the committee refused to give her any credit. Suddenly, the race to build the atomic bomb was on-although Meitner was horrified to be associated with such a weapon. "A physicist who never lost her humanity," Meitner wanted only to figure out how the world works, and advocated for pacifism while others called for war. The book includes an afterword, author's note, timeline, select terms of physics, glossary of scientists mentioned, endnotes, select bibliography, index, and Marissa Moss' celebrated drawings throughout. The Woman Who Split the Atom is a fascinating look at Meitner's fierce passion, integrity, and her life-long struggle to have her contributions to physics recognized"--

Saved in:

Children's Room New Shelf Show me where

j539.4092/Meitner
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room New Shelf j539.4092/Meitner (NEW SHELF) Checked In
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Lise Meitner, a young Jewish Austrian woman with a doctorate in physics, moved to Berlin in 1907 in hopes of doing significant work, but she was disappointed that the university lagged in accepting women as equals. Still, her radium research with chemist Otto Hahn yielded discoveries including a radioactive element. Reluctant to leave Germany despite growing Nazi persecution, Meitner escaped to Sweden in 1938. Later that year, when Hahn wrote asking for help interpreting an inexplicable result in an experiment related to their research, she realized the anomaly's significance, explained it to him, and coined the term nuclear fission. Hahn received the Nobel Prize for nuclear fission but failed to credit Meitner for her work or her pivotal insight. She was dismayed when nuclear fission led to the atomic bomb. Moss' approach to this biography is notable in several ways, from the organization of facts into a very readable narrative to surprisingly clear explanations of Meitner's scientific work and its significance. Even the back matter is uncommonly useful. Each chapter opens with a single graphic-novel-style page that conveys background information to readers while setting the scenes, depicting key individuals, and moving the story forward dramatically. Pair this book with Jeannine Atkins' Hidden Powers (2022), a biographical novel in verse, for a complementary approach to Meitner's compelling story. Grades 5-9. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Lise Meitner, a young Jewish Austrian woman with a doctorate in physics, moved to Berlin in 1907 in hopes of doing significant work, but she was disappointed that the university lagged in accepting women as equals. Still, her radium research with chemist Otto Hahn yielded discoveries including a radioactive element. Reluctant to leave Germany despite growing Nazi persecution, Meitner escaped to Sweden in 1938. Later that year, when Hahn wrote asking for help interpreting an inexplicable result in an experiment related to their research, she realized the anomaly's significance, explained it to him, and coined the term nuclear fission. Hahn received the Nobel Prize for nuclear fission but failed to credit Meitner for her work or her pivotal insight. She was dismayed when nuclear fission led to the atomic bomb. Moss' approach to this biography is notable in several ways, from the organization of facts into a very readable narrative to surprisingly clear explanations of Meitner's scientific work and its significance. Even the back matter is uncommonly useful. Each chapter opens with a single graphic-novel-style page that conveys background information to readers while setting the scenes, depicting key individuals, and moving the story forward dramatically. Pair this book with Jeannine Atkins' Hidden Powers (2022), a biographical novel in verse, for a complementary approach to Meitner's compelling story. Grades 5-9. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Moss's (America's Tea Parties: Not One but Four!) accessible biography paints a searing portrait of Jewish physicist Lise Meitner's (1878–1968) most famous and controversial achievement. For most of her career, Meitner worked and lived in relative obscurity due to sexism and antisemitism. Her partner—fellow physicist Otto Hahn, with whom she collaborated for 30 years—frequently devalued her discoveries and took credit for her work, including the splitting of the atom in 1938. Caught in the machinations of WWII and fearing for his reputation, Hahn ends his partnership with Meitner, but colleagues in Copenhagen and Stockholm rescue her from Berlin and Nazi persecution. In the years following the war, Meitner, who had not anticipated the weaponization of her scientific discovery, worked with the United Nations and scientists such as Albert Einstein toward nuclear peace. Moss's engagingly illustrated panels begin each chapter, bolstering the narrative by offering a direct emotional connection to Meitner's work and thoughts. Short, easily digestible chapters capture a little-known pioneer in her field caught in dangerous times, and address nuclear implications that still resonate today. Includes an author's note, photographs, a glossary of physics terms, and more. Ages 10–14. (Apr.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4 Up—The story of a brilliant physicist's life intertwined with Nazi Germany and the development of the nuclear bomb. Lise Meitner loved physics, and her discoveries were some of the most respected and celebrated in the 20th century. Her story of discovering nuclear fission develops as Nazi Germany comes to power and invades Europe. Lise, a Jew, must escape Germany and leave her lab behind. Eventually, other scientists and governments use her discovery to build the first nuclear bomb, devastating her. The book recounts how German scientists also sought to build a bomb, which would have changed the outcome of WWII. The book concludes with Meitner's later years and her long overdue recognition by the scientific community. One-page comic drawings introduce each chapter and bring further life to the story. Moss presents a spectacular story of history, science, and women's struggle for respect through the narrative of Meitner's life. The writing style is captivating and the book is a quick page-turner. A time line, glossary of physics terms, scientist profiles, bibliography, and index enhance the story and point students to further learning. VERDICT An excellent biography that is a first purchase and deserves a place on every nonfiction book list for children.—Kate Rao Copyright 2022 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

This riveting story of the Jewish physicist who, after overcoming adversity, anti-Semitism and sexism, made a discovery that rocked the world. Includes an afterword, author’s note, timeline, select terms of physics, glossary of scientists mentioned, endnotes, select bibliography, index and Marissa Moss’ celebrated drawings throughout. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"As a female Jewish physicist in Berlin during the early 20th century, Lise Meitner had to fight for an education, a job, and equal treatment in her field, like having her name listed on her own research papers. Meitner made groundbreaking strides in thestudy of radiation, but when Hitler came to power in Germany, she suddenly had to face not only sexism, but also life-threatening anti-Semitism as well. Nevertheless, she persevered and one day made a discovery that rocked the world: the splitting of theatom. While her male lab partner was awarded a Nobel Prize for the achievement, the committee refused to give her any credit. Suddenly, the race to build the atomic bomb was on-although Meitner was horrified to be associated with such a weapon. "A physicist who never lost her humanity," Meitner wanted only to figure out how the world works, and advocated for pacifism while others called for war. The book includes an afterword, author's note, timeline, select terms of physics, glossary of scientists mentioned, endnotes, select bibliography, index, and Marissa Moss' celebrated drawings throughout. The Woman Who Split the Atom is a fascinating look at Meitner's fierce passion, integrity, and her life-long struggle to have her contributions to physics recognized"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Bestselling author-illustrator Marissa Moss tells the gripping story of Lise Meitner, the physicist who discovered nuclear fissionAs a female Jewish physicist in Berlin during the early 20th century, Lise Meitner had to fight for an education, a job, and equal treatment in her field, like having her name listed on her own research papers. Meitner made groundbreaking strides in the study of radiation, but when Hitler came to power in Germany, she suddenly had to face not only sexism, but also life-threatening anti-Semitism as well. Nevertheless, she persevered and one day made a discovery that rocked the world: the splitting of the atom. While her male lab partner was awarded a Nobel Prize for the achievement, the committee refused to give her any credit. Suddenly, the race to build the atomic bomb was on-although Meitner was horrified to be associated with such a weapon. "A physicist who never lost her humanity," Meitner wanted only to figure out how the world works, and advocated for pacifism while others called for war. The book includes an afterword, author's note, timeline, select terms of physics, glossary of scientists mentioned, endnotes, select bibliography, index, and Marissa Moss's celebrated drawings throughout. The Woman Who Split the Atom is a fascinating look at Meitner's fierce passion, integrity, and her lifelong struggle to have her contributions to physics recognized"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Bestselling author-illustrator Marissa Moss tells the gripping story of Lise Meitner, the physicist who discovered nuclear fissionAs a female Jewish physicist in Berlin during the early 20th century, Lise Meitner had to fight for an education, a job, and equal treatment in her field, like having her name listed on her own research papers. Meitner made groundbreaking strides in the study of radiation, but when Hitler came to power in Germany, she suddenly had to face not only sexism, but also life-threatening anti-Semitism as well. Nevertheless, she persevered and one day made a discovery that rocked the world: the splitting of the atom. While her male lab partner was awarded a Nobel Prize for the achievement, the committee refused to give her any credit. Suddenly, the race to build the atomic bomb was on—although Meitner was horrified to be associated with such a weapon. “A physicist who never lost her humanity,” Meitner wanted only to figure out how the world works, and advocated for pacifism while others called for war. The book includes an afterword, author's note, timeline, select terms of physics, glossary of scientists mentioned, endnotes, select bibliography, index, and Marissa Moss’s celebrated drawings throughout. The Woman Who Split the Atom is a fascinating look at Meitner’s fierce passion, integrity, and her lifelong struggle to have her contributions to physics recognized.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Bestselling author-illustrator Marissa Moss tells the gripping story of Lise Meitner, the physicist who discovered nuclear fissionAs a female Jewish physicist in Berlin during the early 20th century, Lise Meitner had to fight for an education, a job, and equal treatment in her field, like having her name listed on her own research papers. Meitner made groundbreaking strides in the study of radiation, but when Hitler came to power in Germany, she suddenly had to face not only sexism, but also life-threatening anti-Semitism as well. Nevertheless, she persevered and one day made a discovery that rocked the world: the splitting of the atom. While her male lab partner was awarded a Nobel Prize for the achievement, the committee refused to give her any credit. Suddenly, the race to build the atomic bomb was on—although Meitner was horrified to be associated with such a weapon. “A physicist who never lost her humanity,” Meitner wanted only to figure out how the world works, and advocated for pacifism while others called for war. The book includes an afterword, author's note, timeline, select terms of physics, glossary of scientists mentioned, endnotes, select bibliography, index, and Marissa Moss’s celebrated drawings throughout. The Woman Who Split the Atom is a fascinating look at Meitner’s fierce passion, integrity, and her lifelong struggle to have her contributions to physics recognized.