Ernest Rutherford - Atomic Theory
- Born in 1871 in New Zealand
- Died in 1937 in England
- Was one of twelve children
- Enjoyed hard work.
- Was a great student and had a university scholarship at the University of Canterbury.
- Following this, he received another scholarship to Cambridge University.
- At Cambridge, he met JJ Thompson, who encouraged Rutherford to study recently-discovered x-rays.
- Thus, Rutherford began his long and influential career in atomic physics.
- Taught future physics majors such as Niels Bohr and James Chadwick.
- Discovered that all known radioactive elements emit two kinds of radiation; positively and negatively charged, otherwise known as alpha and beta.
More Experimental Information
- He then showed that every radioactive element decreases in radioactivity over a unique and regular time, or half-life, ultimately becoming stable.
- In 1901, and 1902, he worked with Frederick Soddy to prove that atoms of one radioactive element would spontaneously turn into another, by expelling a piece of the atom at high velocity.
- Many scientists of the day scorned the idea as alchemy.
- The experiment he is most famous for involves testing the Plum Pudding Model.
- A beam of alpha particles was aimed at very thin gold foil and their passage through the foil detected.
- Scientists expected the particles to pass through the foil.
- That indeed did happen, but something else had occurred as well.
- About 2 particles seemed to have reflected off the foil almost at a backwards angle.
- The particles reflected off of the foil only because the scientists believed that they hit the nucleus, causing them to theorize that most of an atom is empty.
- Rutherford is known as the father of nuclear physics.
- Famous Quote "All science is either physics or stamp collecting".
- Ernest designed the original atom model, which is known as The Rutherford Model.
Please use Google Chrome to obtain the best export results.
Public - 9/22/16, 12:08 PM