Born in 185, he found himself working in a lab in Nazi-occupied Denmark during World War II. Hungarian radio-chemist Jorge de Hevesy is probably the only person who has both won the Nobel Prize and melted the two in acid.
“During the occupation of Denmark by the enemy, my work was interrupted for only one day,” he wrote, usually in obscure language, as if the Nazis were usually the cause of annoyance. “When I arrived at the laboratory on the morning of the occupation of Denmark, I saw Bohr worried about Max von Lou’s Nobel Prize, which Lau had sent to Copenhagen to protect him.
In Hitler’s empire, sending gold out of the country was almost a capital crime and Lau’s name was engraved on a medal, and the discovery of it by the invading forces would have had extremely serious consequences for him.” Hevesy suggested burying the medal, but his colleague thought it could still be found. Instead he decided to dissolve it in acid.
“As the invading forces marched through the streets of Copenhagen, I was busy dissolving Lau and James Frank’s medals. The gold was recovered after the war, and the Nobel Foundation generously presented Lau and Frank with the new Nobel medal.” Hewitt won his own Nobel Prize in 1944 for his work on the use of isotopes as a tracer in the study of chemical processes. He also did some interesting personal experiments.
Rewind is 33 years old and has been conducting heavy tagging experiments for the first time in scientific history. In 1911, Hewitt was living in a boarding house in Manchester with the physicist Ernest Rutherford. He suspected that the landlord was recycling the food directly out of their own plates and delivering it to them in new food a few days later. What he was calling fresh goulash and hash, he believed, was last week’s scraps. At first, Hewitt gently confronted her with the issue and suggested that it would be nice to have some fresh food for a change.
She told him that all the food she had served was absolutely fresh. At the moment, he raises the issue a bit but is trimming his own food with radioactive material. Hewitt added some radioactive ingredients to the piece of meat from his plate, before the landlord removed the plate. A few days later, he returned to the dining table, this time carrying an electroscope, as a scientist always does when it comes to business.