Goeppert-Mayer, Maria

Goeppert-Mayer, Maria,

1906–72, German-American nuclear physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Göttingen, 1930. She was a researcher at Johns Hopkins (1931–39), Columbia (1939–46), Argonne National Laboratory (1946–60), and the Univ. of California, San Diego (1960–72). Goeppert-Mayer shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics with Eugene WignerWigner, Eugene Paul
, 1902–95, American physicist, b. Hungary, grad. Technische Hochschule, Berlin, 1925. He was a professor at Princeton from 1930 to 1936 and again from 1938 to 1971. In 1937 he became a U.S. citizen.
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 and Hans JensenJensen, Johannes Hans Daniel,
1907–73, German physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Hamburg, 1932. Jensen was a professor at the Technical Univ. of Hanover from 1941 to 1949, when he joined the faculty at Heidelberg. He was named professor emeritus in 1969.
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. She and Jensen were cited for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure. Working independently, and later collaboratively, the two explained the stability of certain isotopes as a result of the arrangement of the protons and neutrons in the nucleus.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Goeppert-Mayer, Maria

 

Born June 28, 1906, in Katowice, Poland. American physicist; member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Goeppert-Mayer graduated from the University of Göttingen in 1930, and she has worked in the USA since then. From 1946 to 1959 she was a professor at the E. Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies in Chicago, and since 1960 she has been a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. She has written major works in the fields of quantum mechanics, crystal lattice theory, statistical mechanics, and nuclear physics. In 1951 she constructed a model of the shell of an atomic nucleus. Goeppert-Mayer was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1963.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Statisticheskaia mekhanika. Moscow, 1952. (With J. Mayer.)
Elementarnaia teoriia iadernykh obolochek. Moscow, 1958. (With J. H. D. Jensen.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Goeppert-Mayer, Maria

(1906–72) physicist; born in Kattowitz, Germany (now Katowice, Poland). She married American chemical physicist Joseph Mayer, and accompanied him to Johns Hopkins (1930–39). The couple moved to Columbia University (1939–45), where Goeppert-Mayer separated uranium isotopes for the Manhattan Project. At the University of Chicago (1946–60), she developed her concentric shell theory of the atomic nucleus, with each completed shell having its own "magic number" of protons and neutrons. For this contribution, Goeppert-Mayer and colleague J. Hans D. Jensen shared one-half the 1963 Nobel Prize in physics. She continued her research at the University of California: San Diego (1960–72), even after being partially incapacitated by a stroke.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.