Holland Hires particularly compliments all women engineers, physicists and researchers with today’s holiday!
As we support women in the field of Science and Engineering, we use the occasion to share with you the impressive story of one of the pioneers of Atomic Physics in Bulgaria.
Dr. Elisaveta Karamihaylova was born in Vienna on 03.09.1897. She earned a PhD from the University of Vienna, where she had done many studies of gamma rays and their effects. Her research, along with Marieta Bloe, years later became the basis for the discovery of the neutron by James Chadwick for which the scientist received the Nobel Prize. Karamyhilova won a scholarship for the University of Cambridge – a great academic achievement for a Bulgarian scientist.
Having dreamt of working in Bulgaria her whole life, in 1939 Karamihaylova transported to Sofia her scientific equipment she worked with in Vienna and Cambridge and after several groundless refusals from Sofia University was appointed Associate Professor and created the Department of Atomic Physics. Thus, Elisaveta became the first Bulgarian habilitated female tutor in our oldest University. Later, she moved to the newly established Physical Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, where she headed the “Radioactivity and Nuclear Spectroscopy” section for the rest of her life.
Unfortunately, at the time, the risks of work with radioactive substances have not been thoroughly investigated, and due to her continued work with radioactive radiation, Elisaveta got cancer. Devoted to science until the end, she bequeathed all her property and her father’s house on the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. She even donated her own body for studies on the effects of radioactive radiation on the human body.
We are very impressed with the story of Dr. Elisaveta Karamihaylova! We hope that her story will inspire many of you for new successes and achievements of women in the Bulgarian and world science arenas!
You can find more about her exceptional life and also the achievements of other Bulgarians in the book: „Българите! Забравените постижения” by author Delyan Momchilov and illustrator Sten Damyanov.
The Holland Hires team