Audio clips and accompanying text:
These are central to every format of presentation. Test trials of these materials showed that in classroom use, it is best to have students read the text simultaneously with listening to the audio, rather than listen to the audio alone. Reading the text helps students to
- understand the few voices that have foreign accents
- refer to helpful schematic illustrations
- appreciate photographs of the physicists set into the text.
Permission is granted to the instructor to make photocopies of the text for the purpose of providing every student or every pair of students with a copy, for classroom use.
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Articles reprinted here
O. Hahn and F. Strassman, "Concerning the Existence of Alkaline Earth Metals Resulting from Neutron Irradiation of Uranium," Naturwissenschaften vol.27, p. 11 (Jan. 1939), summary, translated by H. Graetzer in The Discovery of Nuclear Fission (N.Y.: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1971), p. 44-47.
O. Hahn and F. Strassman, "Verification of the Creation of Radioactive Barium Isotopes from Uranium and Thorium," Naturwissenschaften vol.27, p.95 (Feb.1939), summary, translated by H. Graetzer in The Discovery of Nuclear Fission, p. 48.
L. Meitner and O. Frisch, "Disintegration " Nature vol. 143, p. 239 (16 Jan. 1939).
N. Bohr, "Disintegration ," Nature vol. 143, p. 330 (25 Feb. 1939).
O. Frisch and J. Wheeler, "The Discovery of Fission," Physics Today, p. 43-48 (November)
J. Wheeler, "Mechanism ," Physics Today, p. 49-52 (November 1967).
Laura Fermi, "Departure," a chapter from Atoms in the Family (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954), pp. 125-135. Reprinted from Atoms in the Family, published by the University of Chicago Press, Copyright © 1954 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
A historical account of the discovery of fission
Esther Sparberg, "A Study of the Discovery of Fission," American Journal of Physics vol. 32, p. 2-8 (Jan. 1964).
A commentary on the teaching of history and physics
Gerald Holton, "The Two Maps," American Journal of Physics vol. 48, p. 101-119 (Dec. 1980).
Chronology: A brief chronology is given, which may be used as a summary and reference for the events described in audio clips in this exhibit.
Exercises: Assorted activities, demonstrations, questions, problems, and experiments are suggested. These exercises are organized on an accompanying summary chart under the headings of History, Physics, Science and Society. They are also grouped in terms of applicability for use before or after listening to the audio.
Further, the History and the Science and Society exercises are indicated for Discussion, Investigation, or Research.
- Discussion exercises (D) require no preparation or reading by the student. These exercises can be used for class discussions or as homework assignments.
- Investigation questions (I) require the reading of an article which is included in this exhibit, or the use of reference works such as an encyclopedia. Instructors can make the articles available for a more comprehensive assignment.
- Research questions (R) require library work. Some of these exercises are quite extensive and should be treated as long-term projects.
The physics exercises are identified as simple or complex.
- A simple exercise (S) requires no background material and is a suitable class or homework assignment.
- A complex exercise (C) requires that the student have access to a physics text or to some laboratory equipment.
Additional readings and links: An annotated bibliography for instructor and student use.