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Honouring Ern

Rf - element 104

Buildings etc
- Rutherford Hostel
- Rutherford House
- R House - Birchwood
- Rutherford Hotel
- Canterbury Uni
- McGill Univ
- Cavendish

Colleges and Schools
Rooms in Buildings
Odds and Ends
Not So

Buildings - etc

Rutherford Hostel, Nelson College - (Nelson NZ)

Rutherford House, Nelson College's hostel had its foundation stone laid 25 Nov 1930. This was just before it was announced that Rutherford had been raised to the peerage in the British New Year's Honours List.

Rutherford House - (Wellington NZ)

A bronze plaque states "Rutherford House so named to commemorate New Zealand's most famous scientist, Baron Rutherford of Nelson, O.M., F.R.S. (1871-1937) whose research laid the foundations of modern nuclear physics. Rutherford House, headquarters of the New Zealand Electricity Department, was officially opened by - The Rt. Hon. Norman Kirk, Prime Minister of New Zealand. On 28 November 1973."

This was a time when it was thought New Zealand was likely to embrace nuclear generated electrical power. The Engineering School at the University of Canterbury had a sub-critical nuclear reactor for training electrical engineers in nuclear techniques.

After various name changes, NZED became the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand, which was broken up during the government financial reforms of the 1990s into various producers and a national grid body (Transpower).

Rutherford House is now part of Victoria University of Wellington, housing its schools of Management, Law, Economics, Marketing and Accounting. To its right is the railway station, to the left the High Court of New Zealand. I took the photograph from the grounds of Parliament.

Rutherford House, Birchwood, (Near Manchester UK)

Rutherford House, Birchwood Science Park, was built in the 1970s as headquarters to British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL). When they shifted out it was purchased by Pin Property and after a very large refurbishment was reopened as Rutherford House by the Mayor of Warrington (Celia Jordan) and me, on Rutherford's birthday, August 30th 2007.
Photo John Jeffray, Manchester Evening News.

Rutherford Hotel - (Nelson NZ)

The Copthorne Rutherford Hotel, Trafalgar Square, Nelson. The hotel was built as the DB Rutherford hotel, DB being the name of the brewery owner (Dominion Brewers). This had overseas visitors wondering who D B Rutherford was. Some Rutherford relatives, who wrongly assumed Ern had been a teetotaller, unsuccessfully demanded that the name be dropped. After the hotel was purchased by the Quality Inn chain the Rutherford name was dropped, against the wishes of many staff and others. It was later reinstated by public demand at the time of a major refurbishment of the foyer area. This included the establishment of the Rutherford Cafe. The foyer has a large wooden carving of the Rutherford medal, issued by the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1971 to mark the centennial of Rutherford's birth. By 2003 the carved wooden plaques had been shifted to the doorway of the front entrance.

The cafe at the Rutherford Hotel is the Rutherford Cafe (see Rooms in Buildings.)

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University of Canterbury - (Christchurch, NZ)

The eight story chemistry/physics building was completed in 1967 on the new campus at Ilam. In 198* it was declared to be the Rutherford Building. In 2017 it was replaced by a new building and is due for demolition in 202x.

McGill University - (Montreal, Canada)

Rutherford was the first person to be awarded a Nobel Prize for work done in Canada. He left McGill University in 1907, the year before the prize was awarded, so regretably Canada doesn't get credit for this. When a new physics building was opened 1977 it was called the Ernest Rutherford Building.

Manchester University

This building on the left was built in 1900 as the physics department. Arthur Schuster was a graduate of Owens College and a professor there since 1881. On opening it was named the Coupland Building. It is in Coupland Place (looking towards Oxford Street). Arthur Schuster, who had private means, stood down from the Chair of Physics provided it was offered to Rutherford, which it was in 1907. In the 1960s a new physics department was rebuilt in Brunswick Place and had the Schuster name given to it.

From 1972 the building housed the department of psychology. In 2006 the old Coupland building was renamed the Rutherford Building. It now houses university administration. In 2008 a downstairs room was used as a room devoted to the history of the building, especially Rutherford. In September of 2017 Rutherford's old lab on the second floor was turned into a more comprehensive display on Rutherford. Unfortunately this is only available to official tours on weekends.

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Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory - (Oxfordshire, UK)

The Rutherford High Energy Laboratory was established at Chilton, Oxfordshire, in 1957. It is currently (2014) one of the STFC laboratories.

In 1920 the Radio Research Board was established to prevent overlap of effort in radio research between the different services. The Chairman was Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Jackson, a wireless-telegraphy pioneer. Ernest Rutherford, another wireless-telegraphy pioneer, was on the Board. The Radio Research Station was founded at Ditton Park, Slough, an electrically quiet site which was the Admiralty's Compass Observatory.

After World War One, at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, Edward Appleton worked with Rutherford in attempting to detect individual alpha particles by the magnet field they produced in passing through a coil. But his real interest, developed during the war, was radio. Rutherford wanted more things than nuclear physics in his lab so he encouraged Appleton into radio, which had been an early interest and research field of his own.

One of the great puzzles of radio propagation was that radio waves could be observed even when the curvature of the Earth prevented a direct line of sight path. This was explained by stating a conducting layer had to exist high above the Earth and this Heaviside-Lodge layer reflected radiowaves.

Appleton arranged for the crucial experiment. On Dec 11th 1924, after closedown of regular transmissions, the supervisor of the BBC's Bournemouth Radio Station slowly varied the wavelength of the transmitter. Appleton, stationed in Oxford because Cambridge did not have a suitable transmitter a suitable distance away, and assisted by Miles Barnett, a New Zealand graduate who later became the head of the Meteorological Service in New Zealand, recorded a signal that waxed and waned. This was interference of two radio waves from the same source, one a direct beam and the other reflected off what we now call the ionsophere. They had experimentally confirmed the existence of the ionosphere and determined its height as about 100km above the Earth.

In 1973, after various name changes, the Radio Research Station became the Appleton Laboratory.

In 1979 the two labs merged to become the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Over the years various other laboratories had been, and would be, incorporated into one or both labs.

Following the latest change of April 2007, RAL is now an institution of the Science and Technology Facilities Council which is why its website is now found under theirs

Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge, UK)

The Cavendish Laboratory moved to then rural Madingly Road in 1974, the centennial of the opening of the original lab in Free School Lane. The then three buildings were named to honour prominent directors of the recent past. They, with the main activities they housed originally, were
Rutherford (Astrophysics and High Energy Physics)
Mott (Experimental and Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics)
Bragg (Administration, Library and Teaching).
The names were presumeably given by Brian Pippard, who managed the move.
Subsequently some movement of activities has occured and there are now newer buildings on the site too.

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