Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ernest

rutherfordToday in 1871 in Spring Grove, New Zealand, Ernest Rutherford - who famously said: "All science is either physics or stamp collecting."

His work took place in the early days of nuclear physics - he discovered the structure of the atom the cause of radioactivity (atomic decay), and alpha and beta radiation. He was the first person to transmute matter (nitrogen into oxygen) and he figured out the principle of half-lives and radioactive dating. But when he won the Nobel Prize - in 1908 - it was categorized as Chemistry - just going to show how very much a creature of its time that famous quote was...

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