ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937), New Zealand physicist. Rutherford's early work on radioactivity at McGill University in Canada led to his 1908 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. His most famous work took place the following year in 1909 at the University of Manchester, England. The GeigerâMarsden experiment fired helium ions (alpha particles) at thin gold foil and observed the scattering pattern, leading to the Rutherford model of the atom. From 1919 to his death, Rutherford directed the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. He was knighted in 1914, and made Baron Rutherford of Nelson in 1931. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
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