Rutherford - Simple Genius
Rutherford - Simple Genius
Wilson, David
Ernest Rutherford started life as one of twelve children in a simple pioneer family in New Zealand at a time when the Maori Wars were just ending; sisxty-six years later, in 1937, he was buried in Westminster Abbey as Lord Rutherford of Nelson, accepted as the greatest experimental scientist of the century. But it was only twenty years after his death that the world realised the significance pof his work - he had brought the atomic era into being. Rutherford discovered the nature of radioactivity and first identified alpha, beta and gamma rays. He was the first to identify and count individual atoms; from there he went on to show what constitutes atoms, to give us our basic view of what all matter is like. And then, while the rest of the world was concentrating on the First World War, Rutherford in his Manchester laboratory first smashed the atom, opening the route to the weapon that ended the Second World War...
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