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Discoveries that changed the world: James Chadwick & Lise Meitner

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From the discovery of the neutron (1932) to the first demonstration of controlled fission (1942) was just ten years; a period that took physics from an occupation of a small number of eccentric gentlemen and (even fewer) ladies to something of concern to, and funding decisions of, Governments all over the world. The shadows of those tumultuous years are still with us, for better or worse.

This talk will recount those ten years through the lives of James Chadwick (1891-1974) and Lise Meitner (1878-1968), contemporaries who played pivotal roles in the events, even though, partly because of their retiring personalities, they are often overshadowed by “larger” figures.

This talk is part of the History & Philosophy of Science @ the Cavendish series.

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