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OSA | Living History

Maria Goeppert-Mayer predicted two-photon absorption in 1931 and received a Nobel Prize for defining an atom’s nuclear structure.


Maria Goeppert-Mayer

Maria Goeppert-Mayer received a Nobel Prize in 1963 for her work on a mathematical model that defined the structure of an atom’s nucleus.

In her 1931 doctoral dissertation, she predicted two-photon absorption by atoms but lacking a laser could not validate her theory. (Photo: U.S. Department of Energy)

(Courtesy of U.S. Dept. of Energy)