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The Structure of the Atom


I CONCUR with Prof. Rutherford (NATURE, December 11, p. 423) that the work by Moseley in the current number of the Philosophical Magazine, which was not published, and was quite unknown to me when I wrote my letter (NATURE, December 4, p. 399), is an important independent confirmation by new physical methods of van der Broek's suggestion. As, however, in a paper published eight months previously (jahr. Radioaktivitt und Elektronik., 1913, ×., 193), I had represented in a diagram the places in the periodic table from uranium to thallium, with the mass as the ordinate and the charge as the abscissa, showing that there is unit difference of charge between successive places, I wish to take exception to Prof. Rutherford's statement “that the strongest and most convincing evidence” in support of van der Broek's hypothesis will be found in Moseley's paper. The view had already been far more simply and convincingly established from the chemical examination of the properties of the radio-elements, notably by A. Fleck in this laboratory. Moseley's conclusions are a welcome confirmation, by an independent method, for another part of the periodic table. It can only be described as the strongest and most convincing evidence if the prior chemical evidence is altogether ignored.

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SODDY, F. The Structure of the Atom. Nature 92, 452 (1913).

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