Maria Goeppert-Mayer

“Winning the prize wasn’t half as exciting as doing the work itself.”—Maria Goeppert-Mayer

Maria Goeppert-Mayer ( 1906 – 1972) was a German-born American theoretical physicist.  Born into a family of academics, Maria’s goal was determined to become the seventh professor in her family.  After many years working in the field, often unpaid, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. She was the second woman, after Marie Curie, to ever receive the award. Maria was often asked why girls needed to study science. Sometimes she answered with a counter question: “Do girls only have to learn how to read just to study cook books?”




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