Friday, November 18, 2011

The Story of Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn

There is an intriguing story to tell about the lives and times of Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn, two remarkable scientists whose extraordinary collaboration culminated in the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938, turning Einstein's "theory" into atomic science. Not only did these two revolutionize the history of science and the role of women in physics and chemistry, their tale also parallels the social changes and turbulent history of their times. It involves the war against memory, Nazi intimidation, forced exile, betrayal, and a Nobel Prize awarded only in chemistry that to this day distorts science history.

Produced by award-winning Rosemarie Reed (Widow of the Revolution: The Anna Larina Story), this documentary explores the intriguing development of atomic science in the first part of the twentieth century. It captures Meitner's efforts to make her way in the male-dominated world of physics, Hahn's early work and independent discoveries, their collaboration, the racial and political discrimination that forced Meitner to live in exile, and ongoing speculation about her exclusion from the Nobel Prize. These elements are explored through photos, letters, notes, stock footage, and maps; interviews with writers, scientists, and historians; and music of the day.


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