Story: Physics, chemistry and mathematics

Rutherford's basement 'laboratory', Canterbury College

Rutherford's basement 'laboratory', Canterbury College

Ernest Rutherford carried out experiments on the magnetisation of iron by high-frequency discharges in the basement room at Canterbury College, Christchurch. He performed these experiments in 1893 as part of his work for an MA. The room, actually a cloakroom under a lecture theatre, was suitable because of its concrete floor, which prevented vibrations that might have upset the apparatus. The room later became known as 'Rutherford's den'. In later years the den was open to visitors as part of the Christchurch Arts Centre. In 2014 it was closed for repairs after the February 2011 earthquakes.

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Archives New Zealand - Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: AAOQ W3872 Box 16 40/181 2

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How to cite this page:

Rebecca Priestley, 'Physics, chemistry and mathematics - Physical sciences, 1760s to 1890s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/43355/rutherfords-basement-laboratory-canterbury-college (accessed 12 August 2020)

Story by Rebecca Priestley, published 22 Oct 2014