Ernest Rutherford was born near Nelson in 1871. ‘Ern’, as he was known by his family, later claimed his inventiveness was honed on the challenges of helping out on his parents' farm: ‘We haven't the money, so we've got to think’. His mother, who believed ‘all knowledge is power’, made sure her children had a good education.
Ernest Rutherford's discoveries about the nature of atoms shaped modern science and paved the way for nuclear physics. Einstein called him a 'second Newton' who had ‘tunneled into the very material of God'.