Living Wax Museum

James Chadwick


James Chadwick was detained as a civilian prisoner of war for four years WW1. He then got a scholarship to study in Germany, he actually entered the physics program by mistake! He happened to be waiting in the wrong registration are when he intentionally wanted mathematics. At the low age of 21 he had already published 5 scientific papers. His research focused on radioactivity. He became a nuclear physician thus creating the existence of a Neuron .His discovery with Rutherford and his help they dramatically changed the image of the atom and quickened the discovery in atomic physics. He found that electrons are emitted in a continuous spectrum, at odds with other group’s results, and a finding that eventually led to the theory and discovery of the neutron. By the conservation of momentum and energy he was able to determine that the neutron had a mass slightly greater than the proton.

Development of a new Atomic Model

Chadwick was credited for the discovery of the neutron. Chadwick worked alongside Rutherford whilst struggling with inconsistency, noticing how every element had an atomic number less than it’s atomic mass. Rutherford proposed that possibly a neutral particle could be found within the atom- yet they could not prove this. Eventually, through the experimentation of beryllium becoming radioactive after being exposed to alpha particles (Joliot-Curies), Chadwick found his answer. By filling a cloud chamber with nitrogen, Chadwick showed that the radiation caused the nitrogen atoms to recoil. The energy in the recoiling could only be caused by collisions with uncharged particles having around the same mass as protons- proving the existence of the neutron.

Get to Know Chadwick.

-Born in Cheshire, England.

-Spent two years under professor Ernest Rutherford, studying radioactivity problems.

-Extremely intelligent, received several scholarships, and even studied in Germany.

-Worked on the Manhattan Project.