The Discovery of Nuclear Fission

    Otto Hahn (1879-1968) and Fritz Strassmann (1902-1980). Uber das Zerplatzen des Urankernes durch langsame Neutronen. Offprint from: Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 12. Berlin: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1939. First edition, offprint issue. Quarto. Original printed wrappers with light fading along spine and edges; housed in a quarter morocco folding case.

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    Hahn and Strassmann published three important papers on nuclear fission, this being the first that gives a comprehensive description of the processes at work. They demonstrated the presence of unexpected radioactive elements subsequent to bombarding uranium with neutrons (which would be known in their later papers as uranium fission and predicted the existence and liberation of additional neutrons during the fission process, which was proved soon after to be a chain reaction. Hahn and Strassmann's present paper indicated fission of the uranium nucleus into two parts of about equal size with the release of much energy, a substantial increase from the energy produced in all previous reactions and lead directly to the use of nuclear fission for weapons and energy production. Norman 963. Dibner Heralds of Science 163.

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