Ernest Marsden assisted with research leading to the nuclear model of the atom, and became a lecturer and a leading science administrator in 20th-century New Zealand.
Born and raised in Lancashire, England, Marsden attended the University of Manchester. There he worked with New Zealand nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford on the experiments that led to Rutherford’s Nobel Prize-winning model of the atom.
In 1915, on Rutherford's recommendation, Marsden was appointed Professor of Physics at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
Hello My Dearie became one of the first songs to hit the New Zealand airwaves when physics professor Robert Jack broadcast this country’s first radio programme on 17 November 1921. Transmitted from Dunedin, the broadcast was heard as far away as Auckland.
Robert Jack was born at Quarter in Scotland on 4 November 1877 and educated at the University of Glasgow, the Université de Paris and Göttingen University. He came to New Zealand in 1914 to take up a post as professor of physics at the University of Otago.
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.
New Zealand-born Maurice Wilkins and his colleagues James Watson and Francis Crick shared the prize for their studies on the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the genetic molecule found in all organisms.
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'.