Ernest Rutherford: Nucleus & Protons

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Ernest Rutherford: Nucleus & Protons

Ernest Rutherford

- born in Nelson, New Zealand- early education in government schools- attended Nelson Collegiate School, Wellington, and Cambridge- was research student under J.J. Thomson- first research was about the magnetic properties of iron; thesis was "Magnetization of Iron by High-Frequency" Discharges"

- invented a detector for electromagnetic waves- discovered an isotope of radon with R.B. Owens- creates the "disintegration theory" of radioactivity with Frederick Soddy- discovered the nucleus and the protons are in the nucleus

- 1913: with H.G. Moseley used cathode rays to discover atom's inner structure corresponds with a group of lines; allowed elements to be assigned a number, which determines element's properties


Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment Explanation

Lasting Impact


Birth & Life

Conducted between 1899 and 1911, Rutherford's gold foil experiment led to the conclusion that there are positively charged particles within the atom that is small in comparison to the entire atom. With this experiment, conducted by his two associates, Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden, Rutherford discovered the nucleus of the atom. In the video above, his experiment is explained.

In the picture on the right is a diagram of Rutherford's goil foil experiment. An explanation of how his experiment worked can be found in the video in the bottom lefthand corner.

Ernest Rutherford(August 30, 1871 - October 19, 1937)

- steered Chadwick, Blackett, Cockcroft, and Walton toward greater achievments- worked with G.P. Thomson, Appleton, Powell, Aston, G. de Hevesy- Bohr joined him while he was in Manchester and adapted his nuclear structure

Scientist Collabs

- 1903: elected Fellow of the Royal Society; was its president (1925-1930)- 1914: knighted- 1925: appointed to Order of the Merit- 1931: created First Baron Rutherford of Nelson, New Zealand and Cambridge

Fun Facts

Rumford Medal (1905), Copley Medal (1922), Bressa Prize (1910), Albert Medal (1928), Faraday Medal (1930),

List of Awards

Halee Roberson Period 7



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