Ernest T.S. Walton

Banquet speech

Ernest T.S. Walton’s speech at the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm, December 10, 1951

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wish to thank the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences very sincerely for the great honour they have done me. It is an honour so great that even yet it is difficult for me to believe that it is true. I have tried to think of any honour which I would prefer to this one and I have failed to do so.

The high esteem in which the Nobel Prizes are held is undoubtedly due to the conscientious way in which the Committees have discharged a heavy responsibility.

I must not weary you by telling you all what this award means to me but will conclude by saying that my wife and I will for ever remember with gratitude and pleasure the great kindness and honour shown to us during this wonderful week in Sweden.

Prior to the speech, Einar L√∂fstedt, member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, addressed the laureate: “Brilliant, too, is the work that has been carried out in the field of nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry by this year’s four prize-winners. You, Sir John Cockcroft and Professor Walton, have, at an early stage, through your ingenious ideas and experiments, pointed the way to fundamental enlightenment on the structure of atomic nuclei. You have thereby opened up an extremely fruitful field of research, which has since been ardently developed and which at the present day is of greater current interest than ever. No less an authority than Lord Rutherford has said with reference to your work: it is the first step which counts. You have done a real pioneering work, and we are glad to see it crowned, not only by fame, but also by the Nobel Prize.”

From Les Prix Nobel en 1951, Editor Arne Holmberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1952

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1951


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