Lot 212: Ernest Rutherford

RR Auction

2015-07-07 11:00:17

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Lot 212: New Zealand-born physicist and chemist (1871–1937) who discovered the concept of radioactive half-life; he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908. World War I-dated TLS signed "E. Rutherford," two pages, 8 x 10.25, The University of Manchester letterhead, June 14, 1915. Letter of recommendation for a student, in part: "Mr. B. Buckley was a student in the Physics Department in the University of Manchester in the years 1911–15…In consequence of losses of staff due to war, Mr. Buckley has been assisting for the last two terms in demonstrating to the Intermediate classes in Physics. He has done this work well, and shown himself an excellent teacher…His excellent record in Mathematics, and his sound knowledge of Physics, both theoretical and practical, fit him unusually well to be a teacher of those subjects in a secondary school." Rutherford makes a single handwritten emendation to the text. In fine condition, with expected mailing folds (one touching the bottom tips of the signature), trivial dings, and staple holes to upper left corner. Bookended by two of his most famous contributions to science—the formulation of the Rutherford model in 1911 and his successful splitting of the atom in 1917—this was one of Rutherford's most prolific decades as an experimental physicist. Joining the war effort, he shifted his focus towards the detection of submarines in 1915, paving the way for sonar technology. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456 Wednesday, 15th July 2015 Estimate: $1500-2000
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