Maria Goeppert Mayer
Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906–1972), a German-born American theoretical physicist, shared the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics for her research on atomic nuclei. She used quantum mechanics to describe the structure of the atomic nucleus, addressing why some atoms are more stable than others. Mayer also predicted the chemical behavior of elements heavier than uranium—the later-discovered “actinides.” She was the second woman, after Marie Curie, to become a Nobel Laureate in physics. Mayer was a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
National Academy of Sciences’ Biographical Memoir