Henry Moseley

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Henry Moesely is an English physicist. Born November 23, 1887 in Weymouth, England. Moseley's interest in science surfaced at a young age. He was fortunate in having the constant encouragement of his mother and friends in this interest which was to lead not only to a professional career in science, but also to a lifelong fascination with natural history. In 1896, at the age of nine, Moseley was enrolled at the Summer Fields school, an institution that specialized in preparing boys for Eton. Five years later, he won a King's Scholarship that allowed him to enroll at Eton. After leaving Eton in 1906, Moseley was awarded a scholarship to continue his education at Trinity College, Oxford. Though he earned only second class honors in science, Moseley was able to get letters of recommendation that allowed him to take a position at the University of Manchester, where he worked with Ernest Rutherford.

Source Citation

"Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley." Notable Scientists from 1900 to the Present. Ed. Brigham Narins. Detroit: Gale Group, 2008. Biography in Context. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.

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Experimental Design:

Moseley found that the x-ray spectra for the elements changed in a simple and regular way as one moved up the periodic table. Moseley invented the concept of atomic number to describe his findings. He assigned atomic numbers to the elements in such a way as to reflect the regular, integral, linear relationship of their x-ray spectra. It soon came to be understood that the atomic number of an atom is equal to the number of protons in the atom's nucleus. In his own research, Moseley devised a system that allowed him to study the x-ray diffraction pattern produced by one element after another in an orderly and efficient arrangement. Very quickly, he found that the frequencies of one set of spectral lines, the "K" lines, differed from element to element in a very consistent and orderly way.

Source Citation

"Atomic number." World of Scientific Discovery. Gale, 2007. Biography in Context. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.


Henry Moseley discovered the atomic number of protons in the nucleus. He found that certain lines in the X-ray spectrum of each element moved the same amount each time you increased the atomic number by 1. Moseley needed some function of a nuclear property that increased in the same pattern, that is, by one for each element in turn. He found it in the K line of the X-ray spectra of each element. It turns out that the square root of the frequency moves by a constant value for each one unit move by the atomic number.

Source Citation


New Atomic Model

Henry Moseley created the atomic model shown in the picture below. He discovered that every atom has its own atomic number, which represents the number of protons in each element.
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Interesting things about Moseley

Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley, who was always called "Harry" by his family, was born in Weymouth, England, on November 23, 1887. His family was wealthy, aristocratic, and scientifically accomplished, and young Henry showed an early interest in zoology . He attended Eton on a King's scholarship, where he excelled in mathematics, and was introduced to the study of x rays by his physics teacher. He entered Trinity College, Oxford, in 1906. At that time, Oxford did not have a particularly notable science curriculum, but Moseley chose the school in order to be near his widowed mother. He graduated in 1910 with high honors in mathematics and science, and secured a position in the laboratory of Ernest Rutherford at the University of Manchester

Source Citation
(MLA 7th Edition)

Culp, Bartow. "Moseley, Henry." Chemistry: Foundations and Applications. Ed. J. J. Lagowski. Vol. 3. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. 122. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.