Rutherford, Ernest

Rutherford, Ernest (1871-1937)


Rutherford, Ernest

20th Century
Born: Brightwater (New Zealand), 1871 
Died: London (England), 1937 

Rutherford studied physics in New Zealand then in 1895 he received a scholarship for the Cambridge University were he worked under J.J.Thomson. He succeeded Thomson in 1919 as professor. Rutherford began research in the exciting new field of radioactivity and discovered gamma radiation. He proved that alpha particles were helium atoms without electrons and he introduced the notion of the proton as a fundamental positively charged particle. In 1911 Rutherford evolved the theory of the atom as having a very tiny nucleus, positively charged, in its centre with negatively charged electrons in outer regions. For these contributions Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1908. In 1919 he produced the first man-made "nuclear reaction" changing nitrogen into oxygen. 

Related Links

Link icon  Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson (1871-1937)
Ernest Rutherford was born in Spring Grove New Zealand in 1871.

Link icon  Ernest Rutherford 1871 – 1937
Ernest Rutherford’s family emigrated from Scotland to New Zealand before he was born.