Cover image for Ernest Rutherford : and the explosion of atoms
Ernest Rutherford : and the explosion of atoms
Heilbron, J. L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
139 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
A biography of the scientist considered to be the father of nuclear physics for his development of the nuclear theory of the atom in 1911 and discovery of alpha and beta rays and protons.
Cambridge and ray physics -- McGill and the explosion of atoms -- Manchester and the structure of atoms -- War and the promotion of science -- The center of physics.
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QC16.R8 H45 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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An engaging biography that captures the excitement of the early days of nuclear physics, Ernest Rutherford tells the story of the down-to-earth New Zealander who became one of the foremost pioneers of subatomic physics. Rutherford's achievements were numerous and included: * Inventing a detector for electromagnetic waves * Discovering the existence of alpha and beta rays in uranium radiation * Creating (with Frederick Soddy) the "disintegration theory" of radioactivity, which regards radioactive phenomena as atomic -- not molecular -- processes * Demonstrating that the inner structures of elements correspond with a group of lines that characterize them, which could then be assigned an atomic number and, more important, the properties of each element could be defined by this number * And his greatest contribution of all - he discovered that the atom had a nucleus and that it contained the positively charged proton From his early days as a scholarship student to the end of his life as he continued to work in his lab, Ernest Rutherford reveals the life and times of one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century.

Author Notes

John L. Heilbron is at University of Berkeley.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-An introduction to the life and times of the great physicist from his birth in New Zealand in 1871 to his death in 1937. Rutherford's contributions include inventing a detector for electromagnetic waves, creating the disintegration theory of radioactivity, and, first and foremost, discovering the basic structure of the atom. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 and worked on methods of locating submarines during World War I. The book includes numerous captioned, black-and-white photographs of Rutherford, his colleagues, and their laboratories and equipment. Sidebars and diagrams help to explain the many complex principles and equations. The book covers Rutherford's research in fine detail as well as that of many of his colleagues including Hans Geiger, Marie Curie, Niels Bohr, and J. J. Thomson. The author has finely interwoven the political and social context of the time into the significance of his subject's contributions in this authoritative work. A challenging read, it is best suited for serious students with some background in science.-Maren Ostergard, Bellevue Regional Library, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 8
Chapter 1 Cambridge and Ray Physicsp. 10
Sidebar: Cathode Ray Tubesp. 19
Sidebar: Measuring the e/m of the Corpusclep. 28
Chapter 2 McGill and the Explosion of Atomsp. 32
Sidebar: The Bending of Alpha Particlesp. 43
Sidebar: The Periodic Table of the Elementsp. 46
Chapter 3 Manchester and the Structure of Atomsp. 57
Sidebar: Helium from Alpha Particlesp. 63
Sidebar: Bohr's Atomic Theoryp. 72
Sidebar: Isotopes and Transformationsp. 78
Chapter 4 War and the Promotion of Sciencep. 83
Sidebar: Acoustical Detectionp. 93
Chapter 5 The Center of Physicsp. 98
Sidebar: Neutron Absorptionp. 112
Sidebar: The Linac and the Cyclotronp. 116
Chronologyp. 127
Glossaryp. 130
Periodic Table of the Elementsp. 133
Further Readingp. 134
Indexp. 136