The Nobel Prize in Physics 1935
Born: 20 October 1891, Manchester, United Kingdom
Died: 24 July 1974, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Affiliation at the time of the award: Liverpool University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for the discovery of the neutron."
Prize share: 1/1
When Herbert Becker and Walter Bothe directed alpha particles (helium nuclei) at beryllium in 1930, a strong, penetrating radiation was emitted. One hypothesis was that this could be high-energy electromagnetic radiation. In 1932, however, James Chadwick proved that it consisted of a neutral particle with about the same mass as a proton. Ernest Rutherford had earlier proposed that such a particle might exist in atomic nuclei. Its existence now proven, it was called a "neutron".
Their work and discoveries range from cancer therapy and laser physics to developing proteins that can solve humankind’s chemical problems. The work of the 2018 Nobel Laureates also included combating war crimes, as well as integrating innovation and climate with economic growth. Find out more.