Sir Ernest Rutherford and Hans Geiger, physicists, 1912.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The New Zealand-British physicist Sir Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) is pictured here with the German physicist Hans Geiger (1882-1945) with the apparatus used for counting alpha particles. Rutherford discovered the alpha, beta and gamma rays of radiation. In 1907, he began working with Geiger, extending his study of alpha particles. They worked on a radiation detector invented by and named after Geiger, and developed the scintillation screen for observing alpha particles. In 1908 Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.