The Collected Papers of Lord Rutherford of Nelson O.M., F.R.S

From the Library of Stephen Hawking, Inscribed to him by the editors

The Collected Papers of Lord Rutherford of Nelson O.M., F.R.S

RUTHERFORD, Ernest [Stephen Hawking].

$7,500.00

Item Number: 119358

London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1962.

First editions of this work, from the library of Stephen Hawking with a presentation inscription, “To Stephen Hawking To mark the International Relativity Conference, Cambridge, June 1976, the papers of the Cambridge genius of an earlier generation. G. L. W.” Stephen Hawking was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death. Hawking’s scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking may be one of the most recognizable of theoretical physicists in part due to ALS, which gradually paralyzed him over the decades. After the loss of his speech, he was able to communicate through a speech-generating device—initially through use of a handheld switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle.  He is also well known since he achieved commercial success with several works of popular science in which he discussed his theories and cosmology in general. His book, A Brief History of Time, appeared on the Sunday Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks and mentions the works of Rutherford a number of times. He most likely used this book as a resource. A nice association linking these two great physicists, who are both buried near one another at Westminster Abbey in London. Octavo, original cloth. Near fine in near fine dust jackets.

Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson was a New Zealand chemist who has become known as the “father of nuclear physics”. In 1911, he was the first to discover that atoms have a small charged nucleus surrounded by largely empty space, and are circled by tiny electrons, which became known as the Rutherford model (or planetary model) of the atom. He is also credited with the discovery of the proton in 1919, and hypothesized the existence of the neutron. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 “for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances”. Three volumes, which together contain the complete range of Lord Rutherford’s scientific papers, incorporating in addition addresses, general lectures, letters to editors, accounts of his scientific work and personal recollections by friends and colleagues. Volume one, first published in 1962, includes early papers written in New Zealand, at the Cavendish Laboratory and during the Montreal period (1894-1906), as well as an introduction to Rutherford’s early work by Sir Edward Appleton, and some reminiscences of his time in Canada by Professors H.L. Bronson and Otto Hahn. In each volume can be found photographs of Rutherford and his collaborators, multiple graphs, tables, diagrams and charts, and also pictures of the original apparatus which is of historic interest. Volume two, first published in 1963, includes the papers published by Rutherford when professor of Physics at Manchester, 1907 to 1919. While the work of his laboratory ranged over the whole field of radioactivity, he himself devoted much effort to questions concerning the nature and properties of the α particle. Consideration of the scattering of α particles led him to the second of his outstanding achievements, the conception of the nuclear structure of the atom, which opened up a new era in Physics. The final volume, first published in 1965, covers his period as Cavendish Professor from 1919 to 1937. Following on the immense fertility of his years in Manchester – only overshadowed towards the end by the war – we now turn to his last years as a world figure at the Cavendish Laboratory, where he continued his work on the properties of the α particle and the nature of the atom.

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