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- Göttingen Record


Göttingen Record 1931

   In 1931 Rutherford was invited to Göttingen as part of the celebrations marking the bi-centennial of the Royal Society of Göttingen, of which he was a foreign member. The Universitat Göttingen gave him an honorary PhD and he delivered a lecture on Monday the 14th of December. 700 people arrived but the lecture room could hold only 400. Professor Pohl recorded this lecture on nine, small, thin, floppy, celluloid discs. He gave Rutherford one as a souvenir. The meeting was chaired by Max Born who introduces Rutherford.

Hear Rutherford's Voice   (Speaking in English.  0 min 35 sec, 70KB, MP3)
Hear Rutherford's Voice   (A simple man.            1 min 18 sec, 80KB, MP3)
Hear Rutherford's Voice   (Question time.           0 min 17 sec, 34KB, MP3)

   This lecture was given just a few months before people working under Rutherford's direction made major announcements. Cockcroft and Walton, after being given a bit of a rev-up by Rutherford to get on with it, first used their particle accelerator to split an atom by entirely artificial means, and Chadwick announced the discovery of the neutron. Just over two years after this talk Rutherford and Oliphant announced the discovery of tritium (hydrogen-3) and helium-3.

   After Ruthereford died in 1937, Lady Rutherford asked Mark Oliphant to sort out his papers. Mark found the soft disc. He wrote to Professor Pohl and retrieved all the discs except number 3,  which Telefunken had transferred to a large disc and thereby held the copyright for it. The father of David Schoenberg, a Cavendish student, was Research Director for EMI so arranged for The Gramophone Company to convert the other 8 discs into 74 rpm 12 inch discs under the His Master's Voice label. These were held in 9-sleeve albums, for sale by the Cavendish Laboratory for 10 shillings. Disc number 3 had to be purchased   separately from Telefunken. Few buyers seemed to have done so. There are currently some 30 known sets of the records, only 6 of which contain the Telefunken record. Let me know of the whereabouts of any other sets.

Record 1 2EA 5746 Introduction of Lord Rutherford - PhD Honoris Causa.
Record 2 2EA 6541 Introductory remarks.
Record 3 T6077       Ansprache des Lord Rutherford
Record 4 2EA 5734 Beta-ray spectra compared with gamma-rays.
Record 5 2EA 5735 Long-range alpha-particles.
Record 6 2EA 5733 Connection of gamma-rays with long range alpha-particles.
Record 7 2EA 5737 Fine structure of alpha-ray groups.
Record 8 2EA 5736 Structure of nucleus, alpha-particles in nucleus.
Record 9 2EA 5732 Discussion.

Ronald Smeltzer reported his investigations into these records in ARSC Journal 28 174-187 1997.

Location of Full Sets - original recipient

Cambridge University Library - Henry Tizard
University of Canterbury - Clinton Coleridge Farr
University of Nottingham - L F Bates
Australian Academy of Sciences - Fred White
Cockcroft family - John Cockcroft
Private Collection (Australia) - Leslie Martin

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