30 pages, carbon, folio, few manuscript corrections and additions. Cloth folding case." />
4 October 2002
RUTHERFORD, Ernest. Carbon typescript of "Report on the Structure of the Atom," [Cambridge, 1921]. 30 pages, carbon, folio, few manuscript corrections and additions. Cloth folding case.
Provenance: PIETER ZEEMAN (signature at head of first leaf).
ONE OF ONLY A FEW PRE-PUBLICATION CARBON COPIES of Rutherford's paper on atomic structure delivered at the third International Solvay Conference in physics. No citations for the paper appear in OCLC, RLIN, the AIP's Guide to the Archival Collections in the Niels Bohr Library or Kuhn's Sources for the History of Quantum Physics.
Rutherford had discovered the nuclear model of the atom in 1910-11. He discussed it very briefly at the second Solvay Conference in 1913, without delivering a paper on it. At the third conference, eight years later, Rutherford delivered the present 30-page paper on atomic structure. It "gave a detailed account of the numerous phenomena which had received, since the second Solvay Conference, such a convincing interpretation with the help of his atomic model" (Mehra, The Solvay Conferences on Physics, p. 95). The final text of Rutherford's paper was published in a slightly expanded French translation in Atomes et électrons, 6 April 1921.
This carbon typescript is most likely a pre-publication version that Rutherford sent to a few colleagues for their comments. There is evidence that it was prepared hastily by an inexpert typist-- margins are off center, minor spelling and grammatical errors, etc. Zeeman was also a participant at the third Solvay Conference, and the red pencil marks in the typescript are probably his. There is a distinct point noted by him on p.22. A photocopy of the French translation as it appeared in Institut International de Physique Solvay, 1923, is included.
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