Until the second half of the 20th century relatively little research was carried out in New Zealand universities. One of the earliest research thesis projects was carried out by Ernest Rutherford at Canterbury College, under the supervision of Professor Alexander Bickerton. In this basement den Rutherford investigated the magnetisation of iron by high-frequency charges, and produced his first scientific paper, which was published in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. Rutherford subsequently left New Zealand to pursue his research career in Britain, and in 1917 became widely credited with splitting the atom and discovering the proton.
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