"It seems therefore possible that the uranium nucleus has only small stability of form, and may, after neutron capture, divide itself into two nuclei of roughly equal size (the precise ratio of sizes depending on liner structural features and perhaps partly on chance). These two nuclei will repel each other and should gain a total kinetic energy of c. 200 Mev., as calculated from nuclear radius and charge. This amount of energy may actually be expected to be available from the difference in packing fraction between uranium and the elements in the middle of the periodic system. The whole 'fission' process can thus be described in an essentially classical way, without having to consider quantum-mechanical 'tunnel effects', which would actually be extremely small, on account of the large masses involved..." -Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch
FIRST PRINTING IN ORIGINAL WRAPPERS OF THE FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE DISCOVERY OF NUCLEAR FISSION. A FINE COPY. PMM 422B.
"Experiments conducted in 1938 at Berlin by Hahn and Strassman were reported to Lise Meitner, an Austrian scientist who had fled to Copenhagen to escape religious persecution. She and her nephew, O.R. Frisch, working in Niels Bohr's laboratory, found the true explanation of these phenomenon. The interpolation of a neutron into the the nucleus of a uranium atom caused it to divide into two parts and to release energy amounting to about 200,000,000 electron volts. This process bore such a close similarity to the division of a living cell that Frisch suggested the use of the term 'fission' to describe it" (Printing and the Mind of Man, 422b).
IN: Nature, Vol. 143, No. 3615, pp. 239-40. London: Macmillan & Co., February 11, 1939. Octavo, original wrappers; custom box. Small chip at top of spine. A beautiful, fine copy; rare in such outstanding condition.
Price: $2,400 .