Story: Creative and intellectual expatriates

Scholarship boys: Ernest Rutherford (1st of 4)

Scholarship boys: Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford won scholarships to study at Canterbury University in the early 1890s for a BA in mathematics and Latin, an MA in mathematics, mathematical physics and physical science, and a BSc in geology and chemistry. During this time he also carried out scientific research work that enabled him to apply for an 1851 Exhibition Scholarship – his passport to the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in 1895. There, under the tutelage of J. J. Thomson, he began research that initiated an interest in radioactivity. His findings won him the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1908. This work led on to research at the Victoria University of Manchester where he made his second great discovery – of the structure of the atom – giving him enduring fame. 

He is pictured here in 1930, recording a radio talk.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Tourist and Publicity Department Collection
Reference: 1/2-035078-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Creative and intellectual expatriates - Expatriation to Britain', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 June 2024)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 22 Oct 2014