1904 and rutherford and radiometric dating
Amongst the many suggested experiments in it one, on using the speed of sound to determine the distance to a firing cannon, gave him the knowledge to surprise his family by estimating the distance to a lighting flash.
Perhaps it was also this book which inspired him to make a minature cannon out of a hat peg, a marble and blasting powder.
Ernest Rutherford left New Zealand in 1895 as a highly skilled 23-year-old who held three degrees from the University of New Zealand and had a reputation as an outstanding researcher and innovator working at the forefront of electrical technology.
His brilliance at experimental research was already established.
The cannon exploded, luckily without causing injury.
Ernest was lucky to avoid the drowning fate of two of his brothers and lucky to be taught by a country school-teacher of above average ability.
He showed that a steel needle surrounded by a wire loop in the discharge circuit was indeed magnetised for frequencies as high as 500 million per second.
Wireless telegraphy was thus left for Guglielmo Marconi to develop and commercialize.So Ernest Rutherford and his siblings received a good education because of parents who appreciated education: his father because he hadn't had much and his mother because she had..Family chores, such as milking cows and gathering firewood, ate up time after school.Ern developed two devices; a simple mechanism for switching two electrical circuits with a time interval between them which could be adjusted to be as short as a hundred thousandth of a second, and a magnetic detector of very fast current pulses.In 1893 Ern obtained a Master of Arts degree with double First Class Honours, in Mathematics and Mathematical Physics and in Physical Science (Electricity and Magnetism).