Who, in 1919, achieved the first nuclear disintegrations by bombarding nitrogen with alpha particles?
Pierre and Marie Curie
J Robert Oppenheimer
The discovery of the neutron and its properties was central to the extraordinary developments in atomic physics in the first half of the 20th century. Early in the century, Ernest Rutherford developed a crude model of the atom,:188 based on the gold foil experiment of Hans Geiger and Ernest Marsden. In this model, atoms had their mass and positive electric charge concentrated in a very small nucleus. By 1920 chemical isotopes had been discovered, the atomic masses had been determined to be (approximately) integer multiples of the mass of the hydrogen atom, and the atomic number had been identified as the charge on the nucleus.:§1.1.2 Throughout the 1920s, the nucleus was viewed as composed of combinations of protons and electrons, the two elementary particles known at the time, but that model presented several experimental and theoretical contradictions.:298.