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The Right Hon. Lord Rutherford of Nelson, O.M., F.R.S

Naturevolume 140page753 (1937) | Download Citation



RUTHERFORD'S death removes from science the most outstanding personality of the age. My most vivid memories naturally date from the autumn of 1900 and the two subsequent years when I worked with him at McGill. A born experimenter, entirely devoted to his work and with few, if any, outside interests, I can see now more clearly than I did then how he neglected no opportunity or preparation the better to advance it. Though the qualities for which in later life he was so publicly beloved were then still undeveloped, yet undoubtedly they existed and they helped to leaven the McGill of those days and to make it the enchanted place it was. The personal familiarity with the man, and his methods of work in the laboratory, that I gained in those years remained, of course, an abiding possession. Yet I do not think it was entirely, if at all, this that later was to make all his scientific communications a unique pleasure to read. True, admiration for some new and striking advances was pretty sure to be evoked, but over and above this they seemed to radiate an entirely undefinable charm.


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