By Joseph P. Ferry, Chelsea House Publishers, Jill Sideman
A biography of Maria Goeppert Mayer, a physicist who contributed to the advance of the atomic bomb and who, in 1963, was once cowinner of the Nobel Prize in Physics for her paintings at the nuclear shell version conception.
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Extra resources for Maria Goeppert Mayer: Physicist (Women in Science)
Some of the girls wondered just what class they were in, and asked what they were supposed to be doing—physics or chemistry. “It’s science,” she told them. (Dash, Life, 291) No sooner had Maria begun teaching in the spring semester than Joe Mayer landed a job testing conventional weapons at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. The job would keep him away from home five days a week for several years. At the time, it would have been unthinkable for a scientist to turn down work related to the war effort.
Joe was delighted Meeting Joe Mayer: 1927– 1929 at the prospect of a wife who was also a scientist, and he vowed to support her wherever she wanted to go. They were married on January 19, 1930 in a ceremony at Goettingen’s city hall. After a party at the Goeppert house, they spent their week-long honeymoon at a fashionable hotel in Berlin, where they attended plays and visited Maria’s relatives. After the honeymoon, Maria Goeppert, now Maria Mayer, resumed work on her degree. Writing the thesis took time.
Another member of the department with whom she had a substantial common interest was the Dutch spectroscopist Gerhard Dieke. She developed particularly close connections with Francis Murnaghan and Aurel Wintner in the mathematics department, which was quite active at that time. Certainly, though, the two members of the Johns Hopkins faculty who had the greatest influence on Mayer were her husband and Herzfeld; in fact, Herzfeld destabilized the department by lobbying for a full-time faculty position for her.