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Physics

Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow becomes first American-born woman to receive Nobel Prize in science

December 8, 1977

Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow accepted the Nobel Prize in medicine. At the Nobel banquet, she delivered a speech condemning continued discrimination against women working in traditionally male fields.

Rosalyn Yalow

Rosalyn Yalow had two strikes against her in her effort to become a physicist: She was a Jew and a woman. She persevered, and not only earned a career in science and many awards—including a Nobel Prize—but changed the medical world with the introduction of radioimmunoassay.

Science in Israel

In October 2003 the European Commission published She Figures, a survey on women in science and technology in member countries and associates (including Israel), which cited statistics and other data that provide a basis for measuring the degree of progress towards equality of the sexes in these spheres.

Mattie Rotenberg

Journalist, educator, homemaker, and community stalwart with a Ph.D. in physics, Mattie (née Levi) Rotenberg was born in Toronto to parents who had immigrated as teenagers when Jewish Toronto was a village with a population of barely 2000.

Olga Taussky-Todd

Olga Taussky-Todd's work and passion helped shape matrix theory and draw other talented mathematicians to its development.

Ruth Sperling

Born into a family with a strong Zionist tradition and pioneer spirit, Ruth Sperling has kept this thread firmly woven through a life dedicated to scientific research. Ruth Sperling's most important scientific achievement was her co-discovery, with her husband, of the 3-D structure of spliceosomes, the cell's "machinery" for chopping up and re-attaching pieces of DNA to create its requisite assortment of functional proteins.

Elsa Neumann

A pioneer among women scientists in Germany, Elsa Neumann was the first woman to receive a doctoral degree at the University of Berlin (in 1899), nine years before women were officially allowed to study. She became a scholar and a pioneer in aviation research, participating in a flight in a Zeppelin airship in 1902.

Hélène Metzger

Hélène Metzger was a French historian of chemistry and philosopher of science, whose work has remained influential to this day.

Lise Meitner

The dramatic splitting of the atom—“nuclear fission”—was a discovery which changed our world. Yet few know that it was a woman physicist who discovered the power of nuclear energy just after her dramatic escape from Nazi Germany.

Lillian R. Lieber

Lillian R. Lieber devoted her professional life to introducing modern mathematics to young people and to making them aware of the political and ethical implications of science and mathematics. In her books and lectures, she noted that although as much mathematics was created since 1800 as in the period from the origin of mathematics until 1800, students were not taught any of the modern mathematics until they reached college. She believed that in order to get students excited about mathematics, it was essential to teach the revolutionary aspects of such fields as Galois theory of groups, non-Euclidean geometry, and modern logic. In a series of books, each devoted to a single branch of mathematics or physics, she treated these subjects as well as lattice theory, the theory of infinities, and Einstein’s theory of relativity.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Physics." (Viewed on December 16, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/physics>.

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