Rutherford boarded at Nelson College from 1887 to 1889.
In 1889 he was head boy, played in the rugby team and, again on his second attempt, won one of the 10 scholarships available nationally to assist attendance at a college of the University of New Zealand.
I was recently asked what I thought was the most important 20th Century development in geology.
I replied, without hesitation, that it was the discovery of isotopes in 1913 by Frederick Soddy (1877-1956).
Without them, we might still be in the dark ages, geologically speaking.
Today some 40 different isotopic techniques help us not only to determine the age of rocks, but also to understand the geological and environmental processes of our planet and beyond.
Timelines for medicine and technology are listed separately.
His realization that they decayed into half their original sample size (a “half life”) in a predictable period of time is the foundation for radioactive dating of geological materials.They help us reconstruct past climate so that we can predict the climate of the future; they explain the formation of the chemical elements and are now widely used in many other sciences such as archaeology and in medicine.Geochronology, however, is where they first came into their own.Martha Rutherford ensured that all her children were well prepared for school and all received good educations.In 1887 Ernest won, on his second attempt, the Marlborough Education Board scholarship to Nelson College.The tremendous activity in the sciences in these years was too great and too varied to easily summarize, but a couple of fields stand out.