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Maria Goeppert-Mayer

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 Wigner and Hans Jensen. 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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