Cavendish Laboratory

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The Cavendish Laboratory is the name of the department of physics of the University of Cambridge. It was opened in 1874 under its founder James Clerk Maxwell, who was the first Cavendish professor of physics. The list of his successors includes great physicists like John William Strutt and Ernest Rutherford.

Here J. J. Thomson discovered the electron, Charles Wilson constructed the Cloud chamber and Ernest Rutherford invented the artificial nuclear fission. "Francis Aston discovered the isotopes of the chemical elements, Patrick Blackett first photographed artificial nuclear interactions, James Chadwick discovered the neutron and John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton carried out the experiment which produced the first controlled nuclear disintegrations induced by accelerated high energy particles, as well as proving experimentally for the first time that E=mc²."[1]


  1. The History of the Cavendish, © 2013 University of Cambridge, Department of Physics