Otto Hahn was a German chemist and researcher. He pioneered the fields of radio-chemistry and radioactivity, and is known as ‘the father of nuclear chemistry’. He inadvertently discovered nuclear fission during an experiment in which the uranium atom split into barium.
Otto Hahn was born on 8th March 1879, in Germany. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 for the discovery and the radiochemical proof of nuclear fission. Hahn crusaded against the use of nuclear weapons after World War II.
Otto Hahn received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1945. During the selection process in 1944, the Nobel Committee for Chemistry decided that none of the year’s nominations met the criteria as outlined in the will of Alfred Nobel. According to the Nobel Foundation’s statutes, the Nobel Prize can in such a case be reserved until the following year, and this statute was then applied. Otto Hahn therefore, received his Nobel Prize for 1944 one year later, in 1945.
Though Hahn is best known for his discovery of nuclear fission, he also made several other important scientific contributions in the fields of chemistry and physics. He died on 28th July, 1968.