rightfully proud of native son Ernest Rutherford, a scientist who first
demonstrated the existence of the nucleus of the atom.
He was also the first to deliberately transmute one atom to another (alpha particles striking nitrogen produced fast protons and oxygen).
We visited the university grounds in Christchurch NZ where he got his undergraduate degree, at that time known as Canterbury College.
sitting at one of the narrow tables in the hall where the students
would attend lectures.
Some of them chose to inscribe their initials and thoughts there.
We didn't find any that could be traced to Ernest.
Always hard working, it is unlikely that this note is his.
hall is the room where students would hang their academic robes when
not attending lectures.
It later became "Rutherford's Den" where he set up a laboratory.
Because his instruments were sensitive to vibration its solid concrete floor was essential.
At the back of the Den there was a ghostly image of him describing his work.
A little optical trickery made it appear to hang in space.
student desk such
as one he would have used.
received a Nobel
Prize for his work with radioactivity.
While he was a leader of the Cavendish Lab in England nine others who worked with him there each earned one as well.
experimental apparatus and a replica of a high voltage generator like
those he used.
radioactivity demonstrator on display.
are the cover
pages from a few of his publications.
I have been told that they developed the Geiger counter because of the tedium and eyestrain of long hours counting scintillations in some of these experiments.
other places we have visited here.