Otto Hahn, the Prolific Scientist from German Who Discovered Nuclear Fission 

Otto Hahn was German Scientist known as chemist who discovered nuclear fission. He involved in several researches related to chemist substances that affect nuclear atomic and fission. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovery and proof of radiochemical nuclear.

He was born on 8 March 1670, in Frankfurt, Prussia and died on 28 July 1968 in Gottingen, West Germany. During lifetime, he focused mostly in chemist and actively collaborated with several scientists. He also discovered several chemist substances.

Early Life and Education

Image Source:

His father is Heirich Hahn and his mother is Charlotte Giese. He had siblings, Karl, Julius, and Heiner. He studied at early age in local elementary school then finished high school. His interest to chemist was begun in age 15 years old.

After finished Abitur, Otto Hahn went to University of Marburg to study philosophy and physics. He spent last semester under Adolf von Baeyer. He received doctorate degree in 1901. The next job was an assistant under Theodor Zincke.

Early Researches

In order to pursue his interest, he moved to London. He worked under William Ramsay in radiochemistry field. While working, he discovered radiothorium. Ramsey mentioned him as the bright young scientist in article.

In 1905, he started to work under Rutherford in Montreal, Canada. In this place, he also found other elements or substances called radioactinium, thorium C, and radium D. He returned to German and worked in Berlin to collaborate with Emil Fischer. He founded several substances, mainly mesothorium.

Nuclear Fission

During World War I, he served in military. He became soldier until the war was end and he resumed to work in 1918. He collaborated with Meitner to conduct several experiments. Both found substances called brevium and protoactinium. He also published discovery of Uranium Z in 1921.

He continued to work with Lise Meitner alongside his assistant, Fritz Strassmann. In that time, nuclear substances gained more attention due to extensive report of discoveries from many scientists.

He founded what today known as nuclear fission using plutonium. He tried to explain this concept as simple as possible. With this discovery, he began to earn legacy as top scientist in history.

Nobel Prize

Otto Hahn was regarded to receive the Nobel Prize in his early work. He was awarded for this prize in 1944 from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. His works on nuclear fission and discovery of many substances were more than enough to legitimate his claim for this prize.

He had responsibility to science, especially chemistry. He was founder of Max Planck Society. This organization focused to expand researches and science for better world.

Honors, Legacies, and Awards

He was prolific chemist who found many substances. His legacy started in early age after working in German then moved to England and Canada. After that, he continued to conduct experiment with his partner and assistant. The greatest legacy was the Nobel Prize.

Besides researcher, Otto Hahn became lecturer in several universities. He received honors and awards regarding his works. Moreover, he was also a part of several organizations and societies in science, physics, and chemistry field.


Hans Lippershey, the Optician Who Invented the Telescope 

Hans Lippershey wasn’t just an ordinary optician. He was an inventor who took the astronomers of his time by storm. From this small invention, he would become science most controversial figure, as well as the one who advances astronomical observation.

Many people had thought that he stole the idea from other people. Others had the idea also but were too late to patent it. Nevertheless, his invention was still revolutionary.

The German Optician

Image Source:

Hans Lippershey was born in the city of Wesel, West Germany in the year 1570. He moved to Middleburg in 1594 and got married.

Here he established a business as an optician. He opened his shop in Zeeland and became a citizen. His shop became a famous establishment because of the work quality and his high skill as a lens grinder.

The Idea That Inspired Him

One day, two children were playing with the lenses he had in his shop. One of the children said when he looked into a pair of lenses that he could see so far away.

Another version of how he discovered the idea was because of development in glass making techniques by the Italians. The more controversial version was that he stole it from his assistant. Either way, he eventually made the first telescope after several experiments.

The Controversial Inventor

He tried patenting the telescope for 30 years. He first named it “looker”, which has a function of seeing far away objects. He also offered not to sell his invention to other nations, but he wanted annual pension in exchange.

This patent was rejected because it was too easy to duplicate. But the Dutch government ordered several lookers to be produced in exchange for 900 florins.

The lookers that he made were incredible at his time. The ability to see 3 times further is really helpful to people that observes the skies, recon, and sea voyages.

However, another inventor named Jacob Metius emerged to claim the looker. This inventor nearly got his patent when Hans Lippershey patented his first.

Another optician named Sacharias Janssen also claimed that he invented it first. But this claim was made many decades later. Many more inventors came to claim the looker as theirs, but most of them are after several decades of the looker’s creation.

Many years later, the term “telescope” is preferred than lookers. The term was created by Giovanni Dimisiani, a Greek chemist.

Invention That Advances Science and Astronomy

His invention was a hit among popular scientists such as Paolo Sarpi, Thomas Harriot and the popular Galileo Galilei. Galileo himself improved the telescope to be able to see farther and became popular because of it.

Legacy to the Modern World

His invention was one of the most important in the scientific world. Whether he made it himself or not, the invention was still important in scientific observations until today. He died at 50 years old, in 1619.

Today, we can see a minor planet called 31338 Lipperhey, which was homage to Hans Lippershey, the creator of the telescope used to discover it.