Skip to main content

Rutherford, Ernest, Lord

Rutherford, Ernest, Lord (1871–1937) British physicist, b. New Zealand, who pioneered modern nuclear physics. He discovered and named alpha and beta radiation, named the nucleus, and proposed a theory of the radioactive transformation of atoms for which he received the 1908 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In Cambridge, England, under J. J. Thomson, he discovered the uranium radiations. At McGill University, Canada, he formed the theory of atomic disintegration with Frederick Soddy (1877–1965). At Manchester, England, he devised (1907) the nuclear theory of the atom and, with Niels Bohr, the idea of orbital electrons. In 1919, at the Cavendish Laboratory, his research team became the first to split an atom's nucleus. He predicted the existence of the neutron, later discovered by James Chadwick.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rutherford, Ernest, Lord." World Encyclopedia. . 18 Jul. 2019 <>.

"Rutherford, Ernest, Lord." World Encyclopedia. . (July 18, 2019).

"Rutherford, Ernest, Lord." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved July 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.