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E. Rutherford at the Road Research Laboratory

E. Rutherford at the Road Research Laboratory

H418/0096

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Credit

PROF. PETER FOWLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PROF. PETER FOWLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The New Zealand born physicist Sir Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937, centre leaning on the bench) visiting the Road Research Laboratory. In 1903, together with F. Soddy, he proposed that radioactive decay occurs by successive disintegrations of atoms. In 1911 he elaborated an atomic model in which the positive charge of the atom (protons) was concentrated 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. He is considered to be the father of nuclear physics and in 1908 was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry.

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