Paraffin wax used by James Chadwick in  his neutron detector, c 1932.
3 1 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Paraffin wax used by James Chadwick in his neutron detector, c 1932.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

Description

Chadwick (1891-1974) used these pieces of paraffin wax in his neutron detector. Inside the detector, particles from a radioactive source hit a beryllium target. From the force of this impact, neutrons were given off, and could only be detected when they dislodged protons from a piece of the wax. Chadwick's discovery of the neutron helped to rewrite existing beliefs concerning what was contained in the nucleus of an atom.
 

Image Ref.

10305248
 

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