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Letter to Adams, Walter 1933-1936, 1936-04-24

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7653/1/i/A/17

Scope and Contents

Rutherford has spoken to Mr [Robert] Schnurmann, working on 'molecular rays' in the Physical Chemistry Laboratory [in the University of Cambridge] under Mr Fraser. ICI has stopped contributing to the work and Fraser is looking for another job. Schnurmann was paid £50 per month to 1st January 1937 plus £90 from the British Fund for German Jewry, to end on 30th June 1936 but wishes to work to the end of 1936 so that he can submit his PhD. Rutherford finds it difficult to know were Schnurmann to obtain a permanent position in Britain or elsewhere would not be in his best interests. Rutherford has asked him to visit Adams about obtaining a permanent position and imagines it might if necessary be possible to assist Schnurmann from the ICI fund. Fraser has suggested Schnurmann become a school teacher in Palestine but Rutherford expects he will stay in Cambridge as long as he can. He was an assistant to [Otto] Frisch with a good research record but perhaps because of temperamental or psychological reasons is not comfortable with his group. Asks for Adams’s views – Rutherford is sorry for him but sees no prospects for Schnurmann in Britain.
In a PS Rutherford says that he has spoken to [Thomas Martin] Lowry who suggests that Schnurmann might be helped from the balance of the grant to [Kazimierz] Fajans as Fajans had been appointed a professor at the University of Ann Arbor, though Rutherford was unsure when he took up his duties.
A carbon-paper copy typescript letter written on the rectos only, left unsigned by Rutherford.


  • Creation: 1936-04-24


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

The MS Add.7653 Ernest Rutherford papers are owned by the University of Cambridge and are open for consultation under the normal regulations of the University Library's manuscripts collections; see The only limitations to use are in respect of the low-level radioactivity of a small number of items in the collection. Further advice is available from the Manuscripts Reading Room staff.


1 collection (Two folios, paper) : paper

Language of Materials



In December 1939 Schnurmann was awarded the M.Sc. degree for two dissertations now located at Cambridge University Library 'Dry Sliding Friction' M.Sc.a.11 and 'An apparatus for measuring the magnetic moment of the neutron by the molecular rays method' M.Sc.a.12.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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