Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics” as Want to Read:
Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Lise Meitner (1878-1968) was a pioneer of nuclear physics and co-discoverer, with Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, of nuclear fission. Braving the sexism of the scientific world, she joined the prestigious Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry and became a prominent member of the international physics community. Of Jewish origin, Meitner fled Nazi Germany for Stockholm in ...more
Paperback, 540 pages
Published June 27th 1997 by University of California Press (first published February 9th 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  84 ratings  ·  14 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Gabrielle Gouch
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant book. I have not enjoyed a book so much for years.

It is the story of one of the most outstanding women scientists of the last century. A girl in Vienna in the late 1890’s, with an interest in maths and science, whose best prospects would have been becoming a French teacher, Lise Meitner beats the odds and becomes a world calibre physicist. Sime’s masterly narrative describes the incredible difficulties she had to overcome, first to get an education and later to be accepted b
...more
Malini Sridharan
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
More than just a biography of scientist. Highlights aspects of the world wars, anti-semitism, and feminism in europe that are not often discussed. Loved it.
Mike
Mar 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Overall, a compelling and useful biography of a less-known but very important physicist. Dr. Sime is a gifted writer, too, as well as a scientist in her own right. If you're interested in physics, the history of the physical sciences, or female scientists, it's a very good book to read.
MaryFrances
May 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Loved this one. Had a long section in the middle that was very technical and I had to skim over that but the story of her life, contribution to physics, and they people she spent time with was facinating. She was royally screwed by her friend and collegue but handled it with grace
Marc
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
brilliant...absolutely riveting pages detailing her escape from Nazi Germany
Miko Murray
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: austria, physics
4.5*

Really great book, Lise Meitner was a very inspiring woman, not just simply for the fact she was an incredibly great physicist, but also due to her ability to stay firm in her beliefs without destroying the relationships she had with others. Not an easy thing to achieve.

She lived through the horrors of the two world wars - it was very saddening to read about, but, in todays climate, not an unwelcome reminder of how things can get extremely out of hand. There was a lot of insight into how it
...more
Jonna Higgins-Freese
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn't realize how much I didn't know about radiation: had to turn to Wikipedia to learn more about alpha, beta, and gamma radiation in order to understand Meitner's work in the 20s and 30s. It doesn't help that the way in which it was understood then was different from now, so trying to slot those two things together in my mind
Patrick
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating both for the scientific thrills and the slightly horrifying details of the breakdown of civilization as Europe enters WW2. It is fascinating to see how hard it was to grasp the truth of nuclear fission, and the details of how extremely difficult the lab techniques in radiochemistry were.
Sue Law
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, physics
An excellent, clearly written biography of one of the great physicists of the early nuclear era. As well as her personal life, this book gives a thorough, clearly explained descriptions of her scientific works and achievements.
A real eye-opener.
Alejandra
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kickass-ladies
Lise Meitner, one of the key figures in the discovery of fission, would be more widely remembered in history if she had not been Austrian-Jewish and made her break through findings in exile, right before World War II. There is plenty to admire in her journey, from her pioneering entrance to university formerly out of reach to women, to leading the physics section of the KWI.

This books provides a very engaging overview of her life, bringing Lise to life, along with the historical events that mark
...more
Gina
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well-researched account of Meitner's life and the research that led up to the discovery of nuclear fission. It's sympathetic even in taking a stance on the political events and actions that shaped Meitner's career and later life, presenting a clear picture of her scientific achievements and tracing the reasons why they remain so little-known. Moreover an inspiring read about a woman who was one of the first in science, going on to become a brilliant pioneer in nuclear physics.

The science-heavy
...more
Roger Boyle
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Stunning story, little told. How unjust was all THAT?!
Doris Raines
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good. Book
Wm
Mar 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
I loved the story of this woman's life presented in this book, but the description of the physics was weak. I had to turn elsewhere for that. Overall, it was a difficult read, but worth it.
Alyse
rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2012
Sumit P
rated it really liked it
Mar 20, 2019
Jim Haas
rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2014
Brenda Lyons
rated it really liked it
Sep 06, 2018
Hilary Kemp
rated it it was amazing
Oct 27, 2016
Dave
rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2015
Amelia
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2014
Casey
rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2016
Daniel Baran
rated it it was amazing
Jul 26, 2016
Sarah
rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2018
Liseniels
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2014
Sophie
rated it really liked it
Apr 28, 2010
Joyce A.
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2014
Heather Ivy
rated it it was ok
May 06, 2017
Hillary Krahn
rated it did not like it
Sep 07, 2015
Jenny
rated it really liked it
May 17, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries
  • How Economics Shapes Science
  • A Feeling for the Organism: The Life and Work of Barbara McClintock
  • The Quantum Story: A History in 40 Moments
  • The Universe: From Flat Earth to Quasar
  • Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb
  • Nanotechnology For Dummies
  • Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science's First Family
  • The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 1500 - 1800
  • Fractals: A Very Short Introduction
  • Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr
  • Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of Our Universe
  • Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers: A Selection from the Letters of Lord Byron's Daughter and Her Description of the First Computer
  • A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present Volume 1
  • Rocket Girl: The Story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America's First Female Rocket Scientist
  • Brighter than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the Atomic Scientists
  • Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie
  • Rogerson's Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers--from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World