Biography Of Otto Hahn

Biography Of Otto Hahn


Otto Hahn (1879-1968) was Otto Hahn (1879-1968) was a German Chemist who was given the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1944 for his contribution to the discovery of Nuclear Fission. He was a prominent Chemist, who was involved in the early areas of radiochemistry. Following his time in the Second World War, he was a vocal opponent of nukes. He became a prominent scientist in West Germany.

Short Biography Otto Hahn


Otto Hahn was born in Frankfurt on March 8th, 1879. At an early age, He was interested in Chemistry and was aided by his wealthy parents. He was a student at Marburg’s University of Marburg and earned his doctorate in the year 1901. After serving for a few years in the military working as an associate at the University of Marburg, before going to London, England.

He was a student at his school, University College, London, and was a student of Sir William Ramsay. Hahn wanted to enhance their knowledge of his chemistry as well as English to improve his career. At the beginning of 1906, he traveled to Montreal and spent one brief, but enjoyable period along with Ernest Rutherford, who was studying alpha-rays from radioactinium.

In 1906 Hahn returned to Germany where he worked with Emil Fischer at the University of Berlin. With a simple chemical laboratory, Hahn discovered Meothorium, as well as the parent substance of the radiation the ionium. This discovery would later have an important practical application in radiation therapy.

The year 1907 was the time he established an ongoing partnership with Jewish Austrian scientist, Lise Meitner. They became lifelong buddies, even though she later expressed her displeasure at his inaction to protest against his opposition to the Nazi regime and the discrimination against Jews. However, Hahn helped a handful of Jewish scientists escape and also played an important role in assisting Meitner herself to flee to Sweden in 1938 when the Anschluss forced Meitner to leave.

He was appointed professor in 1910. was made as a professor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry in Berlin, where he was appointed the head of the department of radiochemistry.

Biography Of Otto Hahn


Biography Of Otto Hahn

During the First World War, Hahn was drafted into the German army and was put to work on the development of chemical warfare. He was involved in developing and coordinating using poison gas including Chlorine as well as Mustard Gas on both the Western and Eastern fronts.

Following the War, Hahn concentrated on the chemical properties of radioactive elements. In 1921, together with Lise Meitner, they discovered the most important discovery of Uranium Z, the first instance of nuclear isomers. While not many people were aware but this would be crucial in the next phase of nuclear physics. In 1936, Seaborg published an article titled “Applied Radiochemistry” which was an important milestone in the field of radiochemistry. Glenn Seaborg said:

“I think it’s right to talk about Otto Hahn as the father of radiochemistry, as well as of its more modern descendants nuclear Chemistry.”

In the latter part of 1930 In the 1930s, the Hahn group made further advancements in the study of Uranium and was one of the pioneers to study its half-life. Uranium. In 1939 the Hahn team made discoveries about the fundamental mathematics of nuclear fission as well as the fact that Uranium nuclei split after bombarding with Atoms. But, they did not continue their work until the point of creating the atomic bomb.

In in the Second World war, Hahn and Fritz Strassmann continued to work on nuclear Physics. When the war ended, World War II, he was detained in England under suspicion of being involved in the German nuclear program. In 1946, he was released.

Hahn and Strassmann were able to discover nuclear fission using exceptional chemistry, fantastically excellent chemistry that was well ahead of anything that could have been done at the time. The Americans were able to master it later. However, at the time in 1938 Hahn and Strassmann seemed to be the only ones to accomplish this, as they were excellent chemists.

  • Prof. Dr. Lise Meitner during an interview with a German television channel, ARD 8 March 1959.

While he was interned during his time of internment, he was awarded 1944 the Nobel Prize for Chemistry ‘for his work in the field of fission of heavy nuclei’. He was not able to attend due to his imprisonment in England. Certain scientists have suggested that his coworker Meitner ought to have received the prize in conjunction.

Hahn became shocked to discover the fact that the nuclear bomb was placed on Japan in 1945, with devastating effects. He was a bit ashamed of the fact that he, in one way, was the cause of this tragic loss of life.

Following the Second World War, he was a vocal opponent of making use of Nuclear weapons. Then in 1955, he drafted the Mainau Declaration which warned of the dangers of using nuclear weapons. He became a major actor in postwar FDR in addition to being a prominent advocate of not rearmament of West Germany with atomic weapons. His opposition to the nuclear arms race led to his nomination to receive The Nobel Peace Prize.

He was awarded the prize in 1966. received his Enrico Fermi Prize – the only time that it was given to a non-American.

Biography Of Otto Hahn


Between 1948 and the year 1960 Hahn served as the first president of the Max Planck Society to advance science. Otto Hahn died in West Germany on the 28th of July in 1968.

Time Magazine, wrote this tribute:

In the postwar period of Germany, Otto Hahn became the most revered older statesman in what had previously been the most respected scientific institution in Europe. He won numerous prizes, including a Nobel prize in Chemistry for his discovery of fission. He always accepted these honors with a sense of humility. When he visited an atomic reactor, or even a nuclear power plant, and shrugging his shoulders, he would say and say, ‘It’s all the work of other people. In a forthcoming 300-page memoir, he scrubbed off his work in less than five pages. This week, at the age of 89 Fission’s father passed away quietly in his hometown of Gottingen.

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