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Chadwick didn't discover the neutron on purpose, of course. After the discovery of the nucleus by Rutherford in 1911, alpha particles were used to probe its structure. These kind of experiments were pioneered by Rutherford himself (as an example, he discovered in 1917 that the nitrogen nucleus contains hydrogen nuclei, i.e. protons). In 1930, Bothe and ...


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In 1930 two German physicists Walther Bothe and Herbert Becker dicovered that when alpha particles were directed at beryllium some form of ionising radiation was produced, which they thought was gamma rays. Later Irene Joliot-Curie (Marie Curie's daughter) and her husband discovered that this radiation could eject protons from paraffin wax. Chadwick's ...



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