DISCUSSION: The theoretical physicists predicted that the atom could be split. But they didn’t prove it with experiments.
Meitner realized that experimental neutron bombardment had been splitting the atom. So she proved the that the theoretical physicists were correct.
- Lines 20-22 say that the researchers doing the bombardment hadn’t believed they could produce fission.
- Theoretical physics was already acceptable. The specific theoretical physicists who predicted fission would be pleased to have confirmation of their theory, but theoretical physics itself didn’t need legitimacy.
- Actually, nuclei are pretty stable. Uranium held together until it was bombarded by neutrons!
- CORRECT. The theoretical physicists predicted atoms could be split. Meitner realized that her group had split atoms. So she confirmed that the theoretical physicists’ prediction was correct.
- Actually, Meitner and the other scientists didn’t analyze their data (lines 30-35). They didn’t expect any extraordinary results.
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