Autograph letter signed, written to George Frederick Kunz regarding his research on the Neutron
Cambridge: March 30, 1932. 1pp.
A short letter with an update about Chadwick's research on discovering the neutron.
Two months prior to writing this letter, James Chadwick had only just begun experimenting with his research regarding the existence of a possible neutral particle in the nucleus of an atom alongside electrons and protons. In February of 1932, Chadwick published a paper titled "The Possible Existence of a Neutron," where he proposed this possibility. In the early months of his research, he sent the following letter in reply to George Frederick Kunz, the noted mineralogist and mineral collector and vice president of Tiffany & Co. at the time: "Dear Mr. Kunz, I am sorry that at the moment I can supply you with nothing of real interest about the neutron. It is possible, even probable, that I may be able to send you later photographs which show some of the effects of a neutron in passing through matter. Yours sincerely, J. Chadwick" Although the original letter from Kunz is unknown, it is implied that Kunz wrote to Chadwick inquiring for information regarding his early research into this ground-breaking discovery. Two months after sending this letter, in May of 1932, Chadwick published a paper definitively titled "The Existence of a Neutron," announcing that the nucleus of the atom contained an uncharged particle, which he called the neutron, that had previously been undiscovered. For this discovery, Chadwick was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1935, and his discovery radically changed scientists' view of the atom and paved the way for inventions such as the atomic bomb. Letters by Chadwick from this period are rare.