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Born in colonial New Zealand, Ernest Rutherford grew up on the frontier-a different world from Cambridge, to which he won a scholarship at the age of twenty-four. His work revolutionized modern physics. Among his discoveries were the orbital structure of the atom and the concept of the "half-life" of radioactive materials. Rutherford and the young men working under him were the first to split the atom, unlocking tremendous forces-forces, as Rutherford himself predicted, that would bring us the atomic bomb. In Richard Reeves's hands, Rutherford comes alive, a ruddy, genial man and a pivotal figure in scientific history.