1938 – Germany
‘Nuclear Fission. The breaking up of the nucleus of a heavy atom into two or more lighter atoms. Energy is released during the process’
A reinterpretation of the results of the mid 1930s neutron-bombarding experiments of ENRICO FERMI with uranium offered an alternative explanation to Fermi’s own idea that the uranium had transmuted into new heavier elements. The three German scientists offered the explanation that the uranium nucleus had in fact been broken down into a number of smaller nuclei
with the release of potentially huge amounts of energy under the rules of Einstein’s formula E = mc2.