Sir Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand-British physicist, c 1925-1935.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Sir Ernest Rutherford, Lord Rutherford of Nelson, (1871-1937) was the founder of nuclear physics. Rutherford won a scholarship to Cambridge, worked at Cavendish Laboratory on X-rays and uranium radiation. He was later appointed a Profesor at McGill University in Montreal followed by Director of Manchester Physics Laboratory where experiments into the structure of the atom took place. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1908 and in 1919 he succeeded J J Thomson as Cavendish Profesor of Physics at Cambridge.