London: Taylor and Francis, 1927. 1st Edition. FIRST EDITION of “the theory of the nucleus – his ‘view’, or model of the nucleus – was finally expressed in a great paper, this one” (Wilson, Rutherford: Simple Genius, 441).
“In the early 1920s Rutherford, working in Cambridge, bombarded a series of light elements with alpha-particles and showed that they could be disintegrated, often with the emission of protons. He thought about the mechanism of the reactions and tried to visualize what was going on in terms of the structure of the nucleus. Guided by what he had already discovered about the structure of the atom: that it consists of a small central nucleus with orbiting electrons that are grouped in shells – Rutherford outlined his speculations in “Structure of the Radioactive Atom and Origin of the -Rays”).
“He first of all showed how his idea could explain the familiar alpha-decay of radioactive nuclei. He suggested that ‘the nucleus of a heavy atom has certain well defined regions in its structure. At the centre is a controlling charged nucleus of very small dimensions surrounded at a distance by a number of neutral satellites describing quantum orbits controlled by the electric field from the central nucleus.’ Then one of these neutral alpha satellites ‘for some reason becomes unstable and escapes from the nucleus losing its two electrons. Occasionally one of these electrons is hurled from the system giving rise to a disintegration electron.’ In this way Rutherford’s model was able to give a simple, qualitative explanation of both alpha and beta decay.
He envisaged light nuclei as constructed in a similar way, with any protons left over orbiting on their own. This made it easy to understand how protons could be knocked out when light nuclei are bombarded by alpha particles” (Hodgson, “The reality inside the atom,” New Scientist 17, 1985). Item #474
CONDITION & DETAILS: London: Taylor and Francis. Entire volume. Ex-libris and bearing occasional light stamp within. New end papers. No marks at the spine whatsoever. Octavo (8.5 x 5.5 inches; 213 x 138mm). [ix], 1372, . 24 plates. Bound in moderately rubbed maroon cloth over marbled paper boards. Scuffed at the edge tips with some splitting of the cloth at the spine on the rear. Stain on title page otherwise bright and clean throughout.