Berlin: Springer, 1939. 1st Edition. Full bound volume. FIRST EDITION OF THE SEMINAL PAPERS THAT TOGETHER CONSTITUTE THE FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT OF NUCLEAR FISSION. In the first of these 5 papers, Hahn and Strassmann complete experiments in which they had observed barium isotopes as the result of bombardment of uranium with neutrons. On the evidence of these experiments, the two then concluded in "Ueber den Nachweis" that the uranium nucleus had "˜burst' into atomic nuclei of medium weight. This was the discovery of nuclear fission. Their radiochemical results showed irrefutable proof that uranium had been split into fragments consisting of lighter elements. While Hahn and Strassmann discovered fission reaction, they didn't fully understand what they had discovered. In the coming years, Lise Meitner would provide an explanation of what Hahn and Strassmann had seen. In December 1938, when Hahn and Strassmann looked for transuranium elements in a uranium sample that had been bombarded with neutrons, they found traces of barium. The barium was detected by the use of an organic barium salt constructed by Wilhelm Traube, a Jewish chemist who was later arrested and murdered despite Hahn's efforts to save him. On the evidence of the decisive experiment on 17 December 1938 (the celebrated "radium-barium-mesothorium-fractionation"), Otto Hahn concluded that the uranium nucleus had "burst" into atomic nuclei of medium weight. This was the discovery of nuclear fission. On 22 December 1938, Hahn and Fritz Strassmann sent a manuscript to Naturwissenschaften ("Uber den Nachweis und das Verhalten der bei der Bestrahlung des Urans mittles Neutronen entstehenden Erdalkalimetalle" offered here) reporting their radiochemical results, which were the irrefutable proof that the uranium had been split into fragments consisting of lighter elements. Of this discovery, Meitner later wrote: "The discovery of nuclear fission by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann opened up a new era in human history. It seems to me that what makes the science behind this discovery so remarkable is that it was achieved by purely chemical means" (Wikipedia). Item #313
CONDITION & DETAILS: Berlin: Springer. Die Naturwissenschaften, Volume 27, 1939. Quarto (10.75 x 7.75 inches; 269 x 194mm). 862pp. Full volume bound in black cloth over marbled paper. Very slight scuffing to the marbled paper and bumping of the edge tips. Gilt lettered at the spine. Clean and bright inside and out. Very good condition.