A lecture given by Lord Rutherford at Universitat Göttingen

Find out more about this item:
Message us

Rights Information

This recording contains a copy of a lecture given by the New Zealand physicist, Ernest Rutherford, at Göttingen University, Germany, on December 14th, 1931.
Context for this recording has been copied directly from: http://www.rutherford.org.nz/opartifacts.htm

"In 1931 Rutherford was invited to Göttingen as part of the celebrations marking the bi-centennial of the Royal Society of Göttingen of which he was a foreign member. The Universitat Göttingen gave him an honorary PhD and he delivered a lecture on Monday the 14th of December. 700 people arrived but the lecture room could hold only 400. Professor Pohl recorded this lecture on nine, small, thin, floppy, celluloid discs. He gave Rutherford one as a souvenir. The meeting was chaired by Max Born who introduces Rutherford.

This lecture was given just a few months before people working under Rutherford's direction made major announcements. Cockcroft and Walton, after being given a bit of a rev-up by Rutherford to get on with it, first used their particle accelerator to split an atom by entirely artificial means, and Chadwick announced the discovery of the neutron. Just over two years after this talk Rutherford and Oliphant announced the discovery of tritium (hydrogen-3) and helium-3.

After Rutherford died in 1937, Lady Rutherford asked Mark Oliphant to sort out his papers. Mark found the soft disc. He wrote to Professor Pohl and retrieved all the discs except number 3, which Telefunken had transferred to a large disc and thereby held the copyright for it. The father of David Schoenberg, a Cavendish student, was research director for EMI so arranged for The Gramophone Company to convert the other 8 discs into 78 rpm 12 inch discs under the His Master's Voice label. These were held in 9-sleeve albums, for sale by the Cavendish Laboratory for 10 shillings. Disc number 3 had to be purchased separately from Telefunken. Few buyers seemed to have done so. There are currently some 30 known sets of the records, only 6 of which contain the Telefunken record.

Record 1 2EA 5746 Introduction of Lord Rutherford - PhD Honoris Causa.
Record 2 2EA 6541 Introductory remarks.
Record 3 T6077 Ansprache des Lord Rutherford
Record 4 2EA 5734 Beta-ray spectra compared with gamma-rays.
Record 5 2EA 5735 Long-range alpha-particles.
Record 6 2EA 5733 Connection of gamma-rays with long range alpha-particles.
Record 7 2EA 5737 Fine structure of alpha-ray groups.
Record 8 2EA 5736 Structure of nucleus, alpha-particles in nucleus.
Record 9 2EA 5732 Discussion"

Favourite item:

Request information

Year 1981

Reference number 22689

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Ngā Taonga Korero Collection

Credits Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937 (b.1871, d.1937), Speaker/Kaikōrero
New Zealand. National Broadcasting Service (estab. 1936, closed 1946), Broadcaster

Duration 00:40:06

Date 05 Nov 1981

Subject Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937 (b.1871, d.1937)
Oliphant, Mark, Sir, 1901-
Germany
Particles (Nuclear physics) -- Addresses/Topical
Nuclear physics/Topical
Science -- Study and teaching/Topical
Anniversaries/Topical
Scientists/Topical
Atoms/Topical