Rutherford, Ernest


New Zealand-English physicist born in Nelson, New Zealand (1871-1937). Rutherford classified radiation into three types: alpha, beta, and gamma ray. In 1903, he experimentally showed that alpha rays could be deflected with both electric and magnetic fields. Rutherford also described and named the half-life, the way in which radioactivity decreases over time. Rutherford was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1908. In 1917, he experimentally discovered the proton, having predicted and named it three years earlier.

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