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Ernest Rutherford, sculpture

Ernest Rutherford, sculpture

C017/6985

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Credit

ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM HART-DAVIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sculpture of the New Zealand-born British physicist Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937). Rutherford's work contributed to the understanding of atomic structure. In 1909 he fired helium ions (alpha particles) at thin gold foil and observed the scattering pattern. A few particles were deflected by large amounts, implying that the atomic nucleus is very small and positively charged. He won the 1908 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for showing that radioactivity was the spontaneous decay of atoms, and that the time taken for half a radioactive sample to decay was constant (the half life).

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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