Scattering Experiment


While studying in the Cavendish, Ernest Rutherford became fascinated by radioactivity. He investigated it for twenty years, first at McGill University, Canada and then at the University of Manchester, before returning in 1919 to lead the Cavendish as its Professor.

His most famous discovery took place while he was Professor at Manchester. In March 1911 Rutherford announced that each atom contains a positively charged nucleus. Investigations of these nuclei became known as 'nuclear physics'. Rutherford's discovery ultimately led to the 'splitting of the atom', more than twenty years later in the Cavendish.

This section details how Rutherford detected these important atomic nuclei. Please click 'next page' to continue, or use the index on the left to jump straight to a section.

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