When she was thirty-one, in 1909, [Lise] Meitner had met Albert Einstein for the first time at a scientific conference in Salzburg. He "gave a lecture on he development of our views regarding the nature of radiation. At that time, I certainly did not yet realize the full implications of his theory of relativity." She listened eagerly. In the course of the lecture Einstein used the theory of relativity to derive his equation E=mc2, with which Meitner was then unfamiliar. Eistein showed thereby how to calculate the conversion of mass into energy. "These two facts," she reminisced in 1964, "were so overwhelmingly new and surprising that, to this day, I remember the lecture very well."
Monday, June 27, 2005
Readings for a New Opera 2
Occasional quotations from whatever I'm reading as background material for Doctor Atomic; this, again, from The Making of the Atomic Bomb, p. 259-260: