Maria (Goeppert) Goeppert Mayer

Maria (Goeppert) Goeppert Mayer (1906 - 1972)

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Maria Goeppert Mayer formerly Goeppert
Born in Kattowitz, German Empiremap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married [location unknown]
Died in San Diego, San Diego, California, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 16 Jul 2014
This page has been accessed 601 times.

Categories: Nobel Laureates of the 20th Century | Physicists | Manhattan Project | University of Göttingen | University of Chicago | Johns Hopkins University | University of California, San Diego | German Immigrants to America | Notables.

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Maria Goeppert-Mayer was born on Jun 28, 1906 in Kattowitz, German Empire (now Katowice, Poland). 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. She died on Feb 20, 1972 in San Diego, California.[1]

Father: Friedrich Goeppert

Mother: Maria Wolff

Spouse: Joseph Edward Mayer


  1. Maria Anne Mayer
  2. Peter Conrad Mayer

Professional Life

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 Mayer moved to Chicago and started working at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory.[3]

Marie Mayer, Hans Jensen, and Eugene Wigner shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics. Despite her accomplishments, Mayer 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 in 1972 at age 65.[4]


  1. #Bio, #PT, #NASBio, #Death, #Wikipedia
  2. #C1940
  3. #PT
  4. #PT
  • Wikipedia contributors, "Maria Goeppert-Mayer," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Link (accessed July 16, 2014).
  • National Academy of Sciences, Maria Goeppert Mayer 1906—1972: A Biographical Memoir by Robert G. Sachs, Link (accessed, July 22, 2014)
  • Obituary: Dr. Mayer Scientist, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 22 Feb 1972, p4., Link (Accessed July 22, 2014)
  • Physics Today, This day in history, Link
  • "California Death Index, 1940-1997," database, FamilySearch (Link: 26 November 2014), Maria G Mayer, 20 Feb 1972; Department of Public Health Services, Sacramento.
  • "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (Link: accessed 28 June 2018), Maria S Mayer in household of Joseph E Mayer, Leonia Borough, Bergen, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 2-191, sheet 8A, line 12, family 188, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 2310.

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Maria Goeppert Mayer
Maria Goeppert Mayer


Maria is 30 degrees from Rosa Parks, 28 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 26 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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