The Adventures of Making a Documentary of a Famous Dead Person

Dr John Campbell


Athens-Clarke County Library

Appleton Auditorium

2025 Baxter Street

Athens, Georgia

706 613 3650 x343


Sunday, July 2, 2:00 pm


Ernest Rutherford, New Zealand’s acclaimed father of nuclear physics, established the nuclear structure of the atom and the essential nature of radioactive decay as a nuclear process. He is to the atom what Darwin is to evolution and Einstein is to relativity. He radically altered our understanding of nature by explaining radioactivity as the spontaneous disintegration of atoms, dated the age of the Earth, determining the nuclear structure of the atom, and became the world's first successful alchemist by converting nitrogen into oxygen. Or put another way, he was first to split the atom. Dr Campbell will show selected clips from the documentary and tell the tales behind each clip including the adventures he had whilst making a documentary probing into a famous person’s life.

Dr Campbell, a frequent visitor to UGA, is the world authority on Ernest Rutherford. A retired physicist from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, he is the author of Rutherford Scientist Supreme,, and the producer of the three-episode documentary Rutherford. Dr Campbell initiated and runs the Ask-A-Scientist program in New Zealand, and holds several awards for communicating science to the general public. This is his third offering for the library - videos of his previous programs on firewalking and marine archaeology can be found at