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Lise Meitner's private library

[Meitner, Lise]. - Meitner Library. Collection of more than 100 books and reprints from the estate of Lise Meitner (1878-1968) and her nephew Otto Frisch (1904-1979), 17 of which are annotated and/or with autograph inscription.

Various places, 1920s to 1970s.

Comprehensive collection of books and reprints from the private library of the Austrian physicist (who was nominated for the Nobel Prize nearly fifty times without ever receiving it) and her nephew, the physicist Otto Frisch, with whom in 1939 she published a paper which for the first time correctly interpreted Hahn's and Strassmann's prediction of nuclear fission (in: "Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: A New Type of Nuclear Reaction". Nature 143 [3615], 239). The collection comprises only books and papers dealing with aspects of modern physics, quantum theory, relativity, atomic physics etc., and includes 13 inscribed copies, including Otto Hahn (in: "Atlas typischer Nebelkammerbilder" by Wolfgang Gentner and others) and Rudolf Virchow (mounted inscription signed in his "Descendenz und Pathologie"). A very fine inscription is from Max Delbrück, calling himself her "runaway son" (in: John Cairns and others, "Phage And The Origins of Molecular Biology"). Another is from Bern Dibner, who inscribed his most famous work, "The Heralds of Science", to her on 26 May 1955. In this anthology of what Dibner called "the most influential publications in the history of science", Meitner is represented as no. 168. In the margin, she expressed her disagreement with the description of J. B. L. Foucault's experiment showing the rotation of the earth in a single word: "No!" - Detailed description available upon request.