I am reading a NYTimes obituary of Otto Hahn and the discovery of fission, and I've asked in physics SE about the function of the apparatus shown in that article.

The system shown demonstrated the ability to induced fission by neutrons. This answer to the linked question links to this IAEA article which explains much more.

In my question I'm not certain how to attribute the development of the apparatus itself. I'd like to get the facts right so I can word the attribution correctly. I understand that Lise Meitner was involved generally, and dismissed for (most likely) being Jewish. What are the details here? How should I attribute this experimental apparatus and effort?


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Above: Image from the NYTimes Obituary credited there to Hulton Archive/Getty Images.


The above photo was reproduced in the biography: Lise Meitner, A life in Physics, by Ruth Lewin Sime; University Of California Press,1996, ISBN 0-520-20860-9. A brief description of the parts is given on page 371, bottom and 372 top. The attached photo, describing some of the components, is from those included with the text. Lise Meitner's apparatus

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for this. I had a hunch the NYTimes got it somewhat wrong again - even in 2016. Searching, I found this video of the author discussing the book. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 11 '16 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ You may be able to add the detailed information here as an answer to the linked question in physics stackexchange as well. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 11 '16 at 4:29
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    $\begingroup$ I'm happy you found the posting useful. I read Meitner's bio just this past spring, so the photo was still very fresh in my mind. Thanks for the video link. It was a nice recapitulation to my reading, although her lecture could only touch the surface of the development of fission. The text is very heavily footnoted with personal correspondences that really illuminate the development. $\endgroup$ – user1253 Aug 14 '16 at 1:04

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