"The energy produced by the atom is a very poor kind of thing," Ernst Rutherford declared one day in 1933. "Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine."

[To be fair to Rutherford, Einstein himself had made a similar remark the previous year: "There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable," he declared. "It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."]

[At the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge, Rutherford gathered around him a group of brilliant nuclear physicist. Indeed, among his pupils were more than a dozen future Nobel Prize winners.]

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