Maria (Goeppert) Mayer
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Maria (Goeppert) Mayer (1906 - 1972)

Maria Mayer formerly Goeppert
Born in Kattowitz, German Empiremap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married 19 Jan 1930 [location unknown]
Died in San Diego, San Diego, California, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Jul 2014
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Maria (Goeppert) Mayer is notable.
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Maria Goeppert was born on Jun 28, 1906 in Kattowitz, German Empire (now Katowice, Poland) and her parents were Maria (Wolff) and Friedrich Goeppert.

Maria Goeppert married Joseph Edward Mayer and their children included ...

  1. Maria Anne Mayer
  2. Peter Conrad Mayer.

She studied under multiple Nobel laureates, including Max Born, at the University of Göttingen in Germany and in 1930 earned a doctorate in theoretical physics.

She moved to Johns Hopkins University as a volunteer associate and then to Columbia University, where she worked on separating uranium-235 from natural uranium as part of efforts toward an atomic bomb.

In 1946 she moved to Chicago, Illinois, USA and started working at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. [1]

She was known for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus. She is the second and last woman to become a Nobel Laureate for physics, after Marie Salomea (Skłodowska) Curie.

Despite her accomplishments, she did not receive a full-time faculty appointment until 1960, at the University of California at San Diego. She suffered a stroke shortly afterward, but kept teaching and working on the shell model until her death.

The 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics was shared by Marie Mayer, Hans Jensen and Eugene Wigner.

She died on Feb 20, 1972 in San Diego, California, USA. [2] [3] [1] [4] [5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "This day in history" at "Physics Today"
  2. Obituary: Dr. Mayer, Scientist published in the "Herald-Tribune" of Sarasota, CA on 22 Feb 1972 p4.
  3. "California Death Index 1940-1997" database, FamilySearch (Link: 26 Nov 2014) citing Department of Public Health Services in Sacramento, CA; for Maria G. Mayer, d: 20 Feb 1972.
  4. "Maria Goeppert Mayer 1906-1972: A Biographical Memoir" by Robert G. Sachs at National Academy of Sciences
  5. "Maria Goeppert-Mayer" on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia by Wikipedia contributors
  • "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (Link: accessed 28 Jun 2018) citing National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC, 2012; Records of the Bureau of the Census 1790-2007; Census#16; RG#29; NARA#T627; roll#2310; ed#2-191, sheet#8A, line#12, family#188; for Maria S. Mayer in household of Joseph E. Mayer, res: Leonia Borough, Bergen, New Jersey, USA.

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