Ernest Marsden

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Sir Ernest Marsden (born February 19, 1889 in Rishton, northwest of Manchester , † December 15, 1970 in Wellington ) was an English physicist. He lived in New Zealand for much of his life .

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Born in the English county of Lancashire , Ernest Marsden came into contact as a student with the experimental physicists Ernest Rutherford and Hans Geiger , with whom he worked on the study of the structure of the atom at the University of Manchester . This research led to the concept of the atomic nucleus and the foundation of nuclear physics by measuring Rutherford scattering , which refuted Thomson's atomic model .

Rutherford recommended Marsden in 1914 as professor of physics at the University of Wellington in New Zealand now known as Victoria University . He moved there in 1915. After fighting in France during the First World War and being awarded the Military Cross , he did research in many areas from cosmic rays to fossil fuels . In 1922 he became Assistant Director of Education in the New Zealand Department of Education and in 1926 founded the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. During the first 20 years as head of the DSIR, he began to give the country's main source of income, agriculture, a scientific basis.

He spent World War II developing new radar technology . In 1947 he was elected President of the Royal Society of New Zealand . But just four months later he moved to London as New Zealand's science liaison officer.

He served on many committees throughout his life and kept an interest in studying radiation . Marsden returned to New Zealand in 1954 and was knighted in 1958.

The Marsden Fund (a scientific fund) was named after him. He is also the namesake for Mount Marsden in Antarctica.