German-born American physicist who, with Hans Jensen, developed a model of the atomic nucleus that explained why certain nuclei were stable and had an unusual number of stable isotopes. For this work, Goeppert-Mayer and Jensen shared the 1963 Nobel Prize for physics with American physicist Eugene Wigner.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.