Saturday, February 29, 2020
A Biography Of Sir James Chadwick History Essay
A Biography Of Sir James Chadwick History Essay James Chadwick, a remarkable man, may rank among the greatest of all experimental nuclear physicists and he may have played a pivotal role in the development of the atom bomb. James Chadwick had many achievements Ã¢â¬â Nobel Prize, wartime knighthood, Master of Gonville and Caius, Companion of Honor Ã ¢Ã ¢Ã¢â¬Å¡Ã ¬Ã¢â¬ but was a troubled, hyper-tense human being, capable of love and anger as well as restraint. Chadwick was born in Bollington, not far from Manchester, England, on October 20, 1891, to John Joseph Chadwick and Ann Mary Knowles. Chadwick senior owned a laundry business in Manchester. At the age of sixteen, Chadwick won a scholarship to the University of Manchester, where he had intended to study mathematics. However, because he was mistakenly interviewed for admittance to the physics program and was too shy to explain the error, he decided to stay in physics. Initially Chadwick was disappointed in the physics classes, finding them too large and noisy. But in h is second year, he heard a lecture by experimental physicist Ernest Rutherford about his early New Zealand experiments. Chadwick established a close working relationship with Rutherford and graduated in 1911 with first honors. Chadwick stayed at Manchester to work on his masterÃ¢â¬â¢s degree. During this time he made the acquaintance of others in the physics department, including Hans Geiger and Niels Bohr. Chadwick completed his M.S. in 1913 and won a scholarship that required him to do his research away from the institution that granted his degree. At this time Geiger returned to Germany, and Chadwick decided to follow him. Chadwick had not been in Germany long when World War I broke out. Soon he was arrested and sat in a Berlin jail for ten days until GeigerÃ¢â¬â¢s laboratory interceded for his release. Eventually Chadwick was interned for the duration of the war, as were all other Englishmen in Germany. Chadwick spent the war years confined at a race track, where he shared w ith five other men a stable intended for two horses. His four years there were quiet, cold, and hungry. He managed to maintain correspondence with Geiger. Although the work he did under such harsh conditions was not very fruitful, Chadwick felt that the experience of internment contributed to his maturity. Moreover, when Chadwick returned to England, he found that no one else had made much progress in nuclear physics during his time away. His careful self-humbleness, though, kept him from the limelight, and his primary role over the next 20 years was as RutherfordÃ¢â¬â¢s assistant. They had a complex relationship where Chadwick was confidant, critic and counselor as well as general factotum (laborer) for the great man, particularly during their long association at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge. One of ChadwickÃ¢â¬â¢s first tasks was to help Rutherford establish a unit of measurement for radioactivity, to aid in experiments with the radiation of atomic nuclei. Chadwick th en developed a method to measure radioactivity that required the observation of flashes, called scintillations, in zinc sulfide crystals under a microscope and in complete darkness. Chadwick and Rutherford spent much time experimenting with the transmutation of elements, attempting to break up the nucleus of one element so that different elements would be formed. This work eventually led to other experiments to gauge the size and map the structure of the atomic nucleus.