Thursday, August 24, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Ernest Rutherford (1871 – 1937)


Nuclear physicist from New Zealand.
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Ernest Rutherford
All science is either physics or stamp collecting.
Rutherford quotes
Don't let me catch anyone talking about the Universe in my department.
Rutherford
I came into the room which was half-dark and presently spotted Lord Kelvin in the audience, and realised that I was in for trouble at the last part of my speech dealing with the age of the Earth, where my views conflicted with his.
To my relief, Kelvin fell fast asleep, but as I came to the important point, I saw the old bird sit up, open an eye and cock a baleful glance at me.
Then a sudden inspiration came, and I said Lord Kelvin had limited the age of the Earth, provided no new source [of heat] was discovered. That prophetic utterance referred to what we are now considering tonight, radium! Behold! The old boy beamed upon me.




Rutherford Ernest quotes
Radioactivity is shown to be accompanied by chemical changes in which new types of matter are being continually produced. ... The conclusion is drawn that these chemical changes must be sub-atomic in character.
Rutherford Ernest
We've got no money, so we've got to think.
Ernest Rutherford quotes
An alleged scientific discovery has no merit unless it can be explained to a barmaid.
Ernest Rutherford
A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good.
Rutherford Ernest quotes
It was quite the most incredible event that has ever happened to me in my life. It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.
Rutherford
I must confess it was very unexpected and I am very startled at my metamorphosis into a chemist.
Rutherford Ernest
When we have found how the nucleus of atoms is built up we shall have found the greatest secret of all except life. We shall have found the basis of everything of the earth we walk on, of the air we breathe, of the sunshine, of our physical body itself, of everything in the world, however great or however small except life.
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