Picture of Ernest Rutherford
The Bettmann Archive. From painting by James Gunn (1932).

Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford was a New Zealand-born physicist who lived between 1871-1937. He is called the father of nuclear physics because of his studies on the structure of an atom. Rutherford believed that an atom is like a small planetary system, with the protons and neutrons in the center (like the sun), circled by electrons (like planets).


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