Strassmann, Fritz

caption Frits Strassmann, Lise Meitner, and Otto Hahn. (Source: Lawrence Berkley National laboratory Image Library)

Fritz Strassmann was born on February 22, 1902, in Boppard, Germany. He earned his Ph.D. from the Technical University of Hannover in 1929. In 1938, Fritz Strassmann (1902–1980), along with Lise Meitner (1878–1968) and Otto Hahn (1879–1968), discovered the process of fission in uranium and thorium. His expertise in analytical chemistry contributed to the team's recognition of the lighter elements produced from neutron bombardment. This fundamental discovery immediately contributed to the discovery of the nuclear chain reaction and the development of nuclear weapons and ultimately nuclear power.

Strassmann later worked at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and, from 1945 to 1953 and was also director of the chemistry department at the Max Planck Institute. In 1946, Strassmann became professor of inorganic and nuclear chemistry at the University of Mainz, where he established the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry (later the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry).

Strassmann was on the ALSOS list, the Manhattan Project's military intelligence effort to capture known, enemy nuclear scientists in an attempt to learn how far Germany had progressed in its efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.

In 1966, for recognition of their work on nuclear fission, Strassmann, Hahn and Meitner shared the Enrico Fermi Award. He died in Mainz on April 22, 1980.

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Citation

Foundation, C. (2007). Strassmann, Fritz. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/156268

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