Ninety years ago on this day, subatomic physics was transformed. Physicists Ernest Walton and John Cockcroft split the atom for the very first time on April 14, 1932 at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge (the UK).
The two scientists split the lithium atom with a proton beam and the breakthrough won them 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics for "Transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles".
That same year was marked by multiple breakthroughs in subatomic physics as researchers discovered the neutron as well as the positron. Walton’s and Cockcroft’s feat of splitting the atom opened the door for numerous discoveries that ensued in nuclear physics.
Today, hundreds of nuclear reactors around the globe split atoms on a daily basis generating about 10% of the world’s electricity.