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Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford was born in 1871 in New Zealand and was one of twelve children. He was an excellent student and received a scholarship enabling him to attend college. After college, he received another scholarship to attend Cambridge University, where he met J.J. Thomson and began studying atoms.

In 1907, Rutherford taught at the University of Manchester and began studying radiation with Hans Geiger. At the University of Manchester, he made many discoveries, including alpha, beta, and gamma rays, the proton, the neutron, half-life of radioactive decay and daughter atoms. He also developed a model of the atom.

In later years, Rutherford produced the disintegration of a non-radioactive atom and extracted a single particle with a positive charge, which he called a "proton." This experiment made him the first human to create a nuclear reaction. During a lecture on June 3, 1920, Rutherford speculated on the possible existence and properties of the neutron, which marks the beginning of the

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development of atomic weapons. In 1908, Rutherford received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Rutherford died in 1937, almost two years before the discovery of nuclear fission. He is considered the "father of nuclear physics."