Chemistry & Physics

Hahn, Otto & Fritz Strassman | Die Chemische Abscheidung der bei Spaltung des Urans entstehenden Elemente und Atomarten

  • The true offprint, in the orange wrappers, of the third of Hahn and Strassman’s “three fundamental papers on nuclear fission, containing the first comprehensive account of the phenomenon” (Hook & Norman, Norman Library of Science and Medicine 963). Offprints in the orange wrappers labelled “Einzelausgabe” are the true offprints, because these only ever contained a single paper. The “Abhandlungen” issues in the green wrappers are not true offprints because they could contain multiple papers, though in the case of the Hahn & Strassman fission papers each contains only the one paper.

    “In 1938 Hahn and Strassman had demonstrated the presence of radioactive barium, lanthanum and cerium among the products of neutron bombardment of uranium, an observation that seemed to contradict all previous experiences of nuclear physics” (Hook & Norman, Norman Library of Science and Medicine 963). They announced these unexplained findings in an earlier paper published in Naturwissenschaften on January 6th, 1939, but before that wrote to Lise Meitner, then in exile in Copenhagen, “telling her of their baffling discovery and asking for advice. It was this letter that inspired Meitner and her nephew Otto Frisch to create their hypothesis of a fission process, which they published on 11 February 1939” (Hook & Norman). The first paper in the series was published on September 18th, 1939, with the second appearing in 1942.

  • ...(Allgemeiner Teil). Aus den Abhandlungen der Preußischen Akademie der Wisenschaften Jahrgang 1944. Math.-naturw. Klasse. Nr. 12. Einzelausgabe. Berlin: Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1944.

    Quarto. 14-page offprint. Original orange wrappers printed in black. Just a little rubbed and toned along the edges, contents very light toned in the margins. An excellent copy.