The Rutherford medal and prize

The Rutherford medal

The Council of The Physical Society instituted the Rutherford Memorial Lecture in 1939, in memory of Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson.  Lord Rutherford was the father of nuclear physics, discovering the concept of radioactive half-life, proved that radioactivity involved the transmutation of one chemical element to another.  In 1908 he received the Nobel Prize for chemistry for this work.

Owing to the outbreak of war, the first Rutherford Memorial lecture was not given until 1942. In 1965 the Council decided that, in view of the changed conditions since the lecture was established, this should become a medal and prize. The first award was made in 1966.

The award is now made biennially in even dated years.

The award shall be made for distinguished research in nuclear physics or nuclear technology. The medal shall be bronze and shall be accompanied by a prize of £1000 and a certificate.