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Maria Goeppert-Mayer (June 28,1906 -- Feb. 20, 1972) was a German-born American theoretical physicist, doing work in modeling the behavior of the atomic nucleus. Goeppert-Mayer attended the University of Gottingen, receiving her PhD and marrying her husband, a lab assistant of her graduate advisor in 1930. Due to sexism, she was unable to find steady full-time work in a University. While working part time in Argonne National Laboratory, she developed a mathematical model of atomic nuclei, which gave explanation to an otherwise not well understood phenomenon of stability within atoms. This research won her the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963. Getting a university appointment was much easier after this, and she worked at the University of California at San Diego for the majority of her remaining years. She died in 1972, after suffering from a heart attack which left her in a coma.