1. The World’s First Successful Alchemist (It Wasn’t Rutherford) (May 14, 2019)
This article describes Blackett's 1925 transmutation discovery and distinguishes it from Rutherford's proton discovery.
2. Rutherford’s Reluctant Role in Nuclear Transmutation (May 18, 2019)
This article describes Rutherford's 1919 proton discovery in detail.
3. The Nobel Foundation's Retraction of the Rutherford Transmutation Claim (May 19, 2019)
This article shows why some people still thought Rutherford deserved credit for the discovery.
4. Rutherford Promoter Retracts Nitrogen-to-Oxygen Transmutation Claim (June 4, 2019)
5. University of Manchester to Celebrate Wrong Transmutation Discovery (June 5, 2019)
6. Who Started the Ernest Rutherford Transmutation Myth 87 Years Ago? (June 6, 2019)
7. The Backstory to the University of Manchester’s “Transmutation” Meeting (July 7, 2019)
8. 100 Years of Physics History Overturned at University of Manchester (July 8, 2019)
9. Open Letter to Dr. Robin Marshall, Emeritus Professor, University of Manchester (July 9, 2019)
Correcting the Myth
In January 2017, after my book Lost History published, I bega an outreach program to inform the scientific and academic communities in an effort to correct the recorded history. I selected five prominent organizations whose Web pages with the error ranked high in search results.
Sixteen months later, and after the exchange of several hundred e-mails, the first group had made almost all the corrections. This group included scholars at the American Institute of Physics, Cambridge University, Imperial College, the Nobel Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy. It is evident from my discussions with the chief historians at the AIP and DOE that they performed extremely comprehensive independent reviews of the history. The full list of original and corrected pages, as well as some of the acknowledgment letters, are shown below.
Chemical equation for first confirmed artificial elemental transmutation, depicted on 7-cent New Zealand stamp and erroneously attributed to Rutherford.
1. Krivit, Steven B. (2016) Lost History: Explorations in Nuclear Research, Vol. 3, Pacific Oaks Press
2. Rutherford, Ernest (June 1919) “Collisions of Alpha Particles With Light Atoms: I. Hydrogen,” Philosophical Magazine, Series 6, 37, p. 537-61
3. Rutherford, Ernest (June 1919) “Collisions of Alpha Particles With Light Atoms: II. Velocity of the Hydrogen Atom,” Philosophical Magazine, Series 6, 37, p. 562-71
4. Rutherford, Ernest (June 1919) “Collisions of Alpha Particles With Light Atoms: III. Nitrogen and Oxygen Atoms,” Philosophical Magazine, Series 6, 37, p. 571-80
5. Rutherford, Ernest (June 1919) “Collisions of Alpha Particles With Light Atoms: IV. An Anomalous Effect in Nitrogen,” Philosophical Magazine, Series 6, 37, p. 581-87
6. Trenn, Thaddeus (March 1974) “The Justification of Transmutation: Speculations of Ramsay and Experiments of Rutherford,” Ambix, 21(1), p. 53-77
7. Blackett, Patrick Maynard Stewart (Feb. 2, 1925) “The Ejection of Protons From Nitrogen Nuclei, Photographed by the Wilson Method,” Journal of the Chemical Society Transactions. Series A, 107(742), p. 349-60