Explore the Atom with Rutherford

Young Rutherford
How does a child from the edge of civilization end up being one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century? This is, in a sense, a practical question, since every age asks how it can produce better scientists. In the case of Ernest Rutherford, the answer is instructive. Read more »

Exploring Radioactivity
J.J. Thomson wrote supporting Rutherford for the MacDonald Chair at McGill University: “I have never had a student with more enthusiasm or ability for original research than Mr Rutherford and I am sure that if elected he would establish a distinguished school of Physics at Montreal.” Read more »

Alpha Particles and the Atom
Ernest Rutherford discovered the nucleus of the atom in 1911. We read this in textbooks and in popular writings. But what does that statement mean? Geographical discovery usually means that one sees a place for the first time. But can discovery be the same for a realm hidden from sight? Read more »

Atop the Physics Wave
In 1962, John Cockcroft reflected back on the “Miraculous Year” (Annum mirabilis) of 1932 in the Cavendish Laboratory: “One month it was the neutron, another month the transmutation of the light elements; in another the creation of radiation of matter in the form of pairs of positive and negative electrons... Read more »

Rutherford's Nuclear Family
At each station in Rutherford’s adult life — Cambridge, England as a post-graduate student, McGill University, Manchester, and back again to Cambridge — he surrounded himself with family and friends. Many of his colleagues passed through his homes or joined him on long holidays. Read more »

Rutherford's Radiations
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc nec risus ipsum, ac consectetur sapien. Suspendisse interdum aliquet nisi, quis ultricies lorem iaculis vel. Quisque risus odio, scelerisque at ultricies id, pharetra a quam. Nam magna turpis, eleifend eget elementum ac, commodo vitae nisi.