Maria Goeppert Mayer

Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972) was born in Germany where she earned a Ph.D. in the new field of quantum physics. Her marriage to an American chemist led her to immigrate to the US. Following her husband as he accepted new positions, Mayer ended up in Chicago where she taught physics at the University of Chicago. Later employed at the nearby Argonne National Laboratory, Mayer pivoted to the field of nuclear physics. During this time, Mayer began her work on developing a mathematical model for the structure of nuclear shells. For this work, Mayer was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physics becoming the second woman in the world to win that Nobel Prize (the first being Marie Curie).

Why this stop? Garfield is the Red Line stop that is closest to the University of Chicago.

Get involved—Because of gender discrimination, for decades Mayer was forced to accept jobs that were either part-time and/or without pay. One of the issues addressed by the American Civil Liberties Union is Women’s Rights in the Workplace. Consider supporting these efforts with a financial gift to the ACLU.