Ernest Rutherford (30 August 1871 – 19 October 1937) was a Nobel Prize winning physicist, who earned fame for the following discoveries:
- He explained the perplexing problem of radioactivity as the spontaneous disintegration of atoms (they were not necessarily stable entities as had been assumed since the time of the ancient Greeks),
- He determined the structure of the atom and showed that the positive charges of an atom are concentrated in its center. This disproved the Plum Pudding model of the atom. (See: Geiger–Marsden experiment)
- He was the first person to successfully split the atom, whilst working in Manchester, UK in 1917.