Ten fun facts about Maria Goeppert-Mayer


Fact 1
She was one of several girls who passed the university entrance exam a year early, at the age of 17.

Fact 2
Though her thesis was unproven at the time, in 1961, the development of the laser provided verification, naming the two-photon cross section Goeppert Mayer.

Fact 3
Her husband obtained a job at Johns Hopkins, but she could not officially work there since they did not hire relatives.


Fact 4
In 1935, she published a paper on double beta decay, making her the first to propose the idea.

Fact 5
Some of her colleagues lost their jobs when Nazi Party came to power in 1933, so she became involved in refugee relief efforts.

Fact 6
Though she got to have an office a Columbia University, she received no salary.

Fact 7
Her first well paid professional position was at Sarah Lawrence College as a part-time teacher of science.

Fact 8
She has a crater on Venus named after her, called the Crater Goeppert Mayer.

Fact 9
The Maria Goeppert Mayer Award was created in her honor by the American Physical Society, for female physicists.

Fact 10
Her help discovering the nuclear shell structure earned her and two of her colleagues the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1963.


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Short about Maria Goeppert-Mayer
A German born American theoretical physicist.



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