Ernest Rutherford Short Biography

Ernest Rutherford A brief biography of the English physicist, the founder of nuclear physics, is outlined in this article.

Ernest Rutherford Short Biography


Ernest Rutherford was born on August 30, 1871 in New Zealand in the small village of Spring Grove in a farmer's family. Of the twelve children was the most gifted.

Ernest brilliantly graduated from elementary school. At college in Nelson, where Ernest Rutherford was admitted to fifth grade, teachers drew attention to his exceptional mathematical abilities. Ernest later became interested in the natural sciences - physics and chemistry.

Rutherford graduated from Canterbury College, after which, for two years, he enthusiastically engaged in research in the field of electrical engineering.

In 1895 he went to England, where until 1898 he worked in Cambridge, in the Cavendish Laboratory under the guidance of the outstanding physicist Joseph-John Thomson. He makes a significant breakthrough in detecting the distance, which determines the length of the electromagnetic wave.

In 1898, he began to study the phenomenon of radioactivity. Rutherford's first fundamental discovery in this area — the discovery of the heterogeneity of the radiation emitted by uranium — brought him popularity. Thanks to Rutherford, the concept came into science: alpha and beta radiation.

At 26, Rutherford was invited to Montreal as a professor at McGill University, the best in Canada. Rutherford worked in Canada for 10 years and created a science school there.

In 1903, a 32-year-old scientist was elected a member of the Royal Society of London at the British Academy of Sciences.

In 1907, Rutherford moved with his family from Canada to England to take the post of professor at the Department of Physics at the University of Manchester. Immediately after his arrival, Rutherford began conducting experimental studies on radioactivity. His assistant and student, the German physicist Hans Geiger, worked with him, who developed the well-known Geiger counter.

In 1908, Rutherford received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for research on the transformation of elements.

Rutherford carried out a large series of experiments that confirmed that alpha particles are doubly ionized helium atoms. Together with his other student, Ernest Marsden (1889–1970), he investigated the features of the passage of alpha particles through thin metal plates. Based on these experiments, the scientist proposed a planetary model of the atom : in the center of the atom is the nucleus around which electrons revolve. It was an outstanding discovery of the time!

Rutherford predicted the discovery of the neutron, the possibility of fission of atomic nuclei of light elements and artificial nuclear transformations.

For 18 years he headed the Cavendish Laboratory (from 1919 to 1937).

E. Rutherford was elected an honorary member of all the academies of the world.

Ernest Rutherford died on October 19, 1937, four days after an emergency operation for an unexpected illness - hernia infringement - at the age of 66

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