Hans Bethe and Reporters

ID: 2005-10445

Creator: Davis, Fremont

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: January 1939

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7091, Science Service Records, Box 457

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  • Physicist Hans Bethe (1906-2005) lying on the on the ground in front of a group of reporters. The reporters are John O'Neill of the "New York Herald Tribune" and William Laurence of "The New York Times." Both were among the premier science journalists of their day. This photo was taken in late January 1939 at the Conference on Theoretical Physics, held at George Washington University. As Marcel LaFollette wrote in "Science on the Air," this conference was one of the most important events in the history of physics. The physics community was abuzz over the news that German scientists Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner had apparently achieved nuclear fission. Some of the participants at the international gathering of theoretical physicists had obtained a copy of Hahn's paper just published in "Die Naturwissenschaften" and were attempting to confirm the result.
  • In February of 1935 Bethe was appointed Assistant Professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, then promoted to Professor in the summer of 1937 Bethe remained at Cornell except for sabbatical leaves and for an absence during World War II. His war work took him first to the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working on microwave radar, and then to the Los Alamos, New Mexico at the Scientific Laboratory which was engaged in assembling the first atomic bomb. In 1967 he was given the Nobel Prize in Physics.


Davis, Fremont


Bethe, Hans Albrecht 1906-


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Science Service negative #5-1

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7091, Science Service Records, Box 457

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


January 1939

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  • Nobel Prizes
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  • Photographic print
  • Group, candid

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Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 10w x 8h; Type of Image: Group, candid; Medium: Photographic print

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