Lise Meitner: Science Hero (Reel-life science entry 2014)
The amazing life of Lise Meitner an inspiring scientist
Lise Meitner was an Austrian-Swedish physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Meitner and Otto Hahn led the small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron; the results were published in early 1939. Meitner and Otto Frisch understood that the fission process, which splits the atomic nucleus of uranium into two smaller nuclei, must be accompanied by an enormous release of energy. Nuclear fission is the process exploited by nuclear reactors to generate heat and, subsequently, electricity. This process is also the basis of the nuclear weapons that were developed in the U.S. during World War II and used against Japan in 1945.