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Unformatted text preview: Before Fermi left, the Fascist government had already announced his discovery of a new element, No. 93, though Fermi himself was not certain. Work on this unknown substance led the chemist Otto Hahn to results that could be explained only by the conclusion that he had split the uranium nucleus—something that sounded ridiculous at the time. Moreover, Bohr had established the liquid-drop model of the nucleus, which did not allow the nucleus to be broken. But as Lise Meitner, Hahn's former partner who had been forced to relocate due to the Nazi occupation of Austria, and her nephew Frisch pondered the possibilities, they recognized that a drop could conceivably elongate to a point where it became separated into two drops. The forces that would resist—just as the surface tension of water would resist—could possibly be overcome by the electric charge of nuclei. The splitting would lead to a release of approximately 200 the electric charge of nuclei....
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This note was uploaded on 12/12/2011 for the course HIST 1320 taught by Professor Murphy during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08