E. Rutherford with his wife and daughter in a boat

E. Rutherford with his wife and daughter in a boat

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Credit: PROF. PETER FOWLER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The New Zealand born physicist Sir Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937), considered to be the father of nuclear physics. He identified three types of radiations produced by radioactive decay which he called alpha, beta and gamma rays. He later proved that alpha rays were helium nuclei. In 1911 he proposed a model in which the positive charge of the atom (protons) was found in a very small region, the nucleus. He also showed that the structure of an atom could be changed (nuclear transmutation) by bombarding it with alpha particles. In 1908 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry. He is seen here with his wife Mary Newton and daughter Eileen in a rowing boat.

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Keywords: 1908, alpha rays, atom, atomic model, beta and gamma rays, chemistry, discoverer, ernest, nobel laureate, nobel prize, physicist, portraits, recipient, rutherford, surname r, theorist, transmutation, winner

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