The Neutron

14 Apr, 2016 530 Physics

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the neutron, one of the particles found in an atom’s nucleus. Building on the work of Ernest Rutherford, the British physicist James Chadwick won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his discovery of the neutron in 1932. Neutrons play a fundamental role in the universe and their discovery was at the heart of developments in nuclear physics in the first half of the 20th century.

Play on BBC Sounds website


  • Val Gibson 3 episodes
    University of Cambridge
  • Andrew Harrison No other episodes
    University of Edinburgh
  • Frank Close 15 episodes
    University of Oxford

Reading list

  • Neutrons, Nuclei and Matter: An Exploration of the Physics of Slow Neutrons
    James Byrne (Dover Publications, 2011) Google Books →
  • The Fly in the Cathedral: How a Group of Cambridge Scientists Won the International Race to Split the Atom
    Brian Cathcart (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004)
  • Nuclear Physics: A Very Short Introduction to Nuclear Physics
    Frank Close (Oxford University Press, 2015) Google Books →
  • Half Life: The Divided Life of Bruno Pontecorvo, Physicist or Spy
    Frank Close (Oneworld Publications, 2015) Google Books →
  • Churchill's Bomb: A Hidden History of Science, War and Politics
    Graham Farmelo (Faber & Faber, 2013) Google Books →
  • Neutron Physics
    Paul Reuss (EDP Sciences, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Making of the Atomic Bomb
    Richard Rhodes (HarperCollins, 2012) Google Books →

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Programme ID: b076mnkr

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Auto-category: 539.7 (Atomic and nuclear physics)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1932, in a Cambridge laboratory, James Chadwick discovered the neutron, one of the building blocks of the atomic nucleus.