Mayer, Maria Goeppert (1906–1972)

Maria Mayer was a German-born American physicist awarded, with J. H. D. Jensen and Eugene Wigner, the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics for her proposal (independent of Jensen's), in 1949, that the protons and neutrons of the atomic nucleus are arranged in concentric shells. This provided an explanation for the apparently anomalous properties of some nuclei.