Francis Aston, British physicist

Francis Aston, British physicist

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Credit: AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Francis Aston (1877-1945), British physicist. Aston developed the mass spectrograph in 1919, which allowed him to study isotopes. An isotope is a form of an element with a different atomic number to other forms due to a difference in the number of neutrons it contains. Aston showed that atomic nuclei had a whole number mass when compared to 1/16th of the mass of an oxygen-16 atom. He identified 212 naturally occurring isotopes. For this work, he received the 1922 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

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