Father of nuclear physics, Ernest Rutherford is considered as one of the most illustrious scientists of all time. His concept of radioactive half-life was the result of his initial work. He was awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ for his surveys into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substances. During his time at the University of Manchester during the 1900s, he along with Thomas Royds, proved that Alpha radiation is helium nuclei. Even though he could not prove whether it was positive or negative, he concluded that all the atoms have their charge concentrated in nucleus. This theory was one of his famous works and founded the Rutherford Model of the atom. He was awarded the ‘Nobel Prize in Chemistry’ for his surveys into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substance. This great experimentalist also propounded many modern-day science theories. As a great scientist, he wrote several notes, articles, and delivered lectures on different subjects and issues. We have curated Rutherford’s quotes and sayings from his work and life. Here is a collecltion of his quotes and thoughts below.
Physics is the only real science. The rest are just stamp collecting.
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.
Every good laboratory consists of first rate men working in great harmony to insure the progress of science; but down at the end of the hall is an unsociable, wrong-headed fellow working on unprofitable lines, and in his hands lies the hope of discovery.
The only possible conclusion the social sciences can draw is: some do, some don't.
The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.
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.
I have to keep going, as there are always people on my track. I have to publish my present work as rapidly as possible in order to keep in the race. The best sprinters in this road of investigation are Becquerel and the Curies...
From the results so far obtained it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the long-range atoms arising from collision of alpha particles with nitrogen are not nitrogen atoms but probably atoms of hydrogen, or atoms of mass 2. If this be the case, we must conclude that the nitrogen atom is disintegrated under the intense forces developed in a close collision with a swift alpha particle, and that the hydrogen atom which is liberated formed a constituent part of the nitrogen nucleus.
The year 1896 ... marked the beginning of what has been aptly termed the heroic age of Physical Science. Never before in the history of physics has there been witnessed such a period of intense activity when discoveries of fundamental importance have followed one another with such bewildering rapidity.