On 10 December 1951 the Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Irish physicist Professor Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton and Sir John Cockcroft.

The Nobel Prize ceremony opened with fanfare in Stockholm, Sweden and paid tribute to the pioneering work of Professor Ernest Watson and Sir John Cockcroft in splitting the atom.

Introducing the award Professor Waller said the scientists were being awarded for their,

Discovery of the transmutations of atomic nuclei by artificial accelerated particles.


Presenting the prize King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden offered his congratulations to the prize winners. 

Following the ceremony Professor Walton sent a message home. 

'Tis the experience of a lifetime to be the recipient of a Nobel award. Everyone in Sweden seems to know all about it and the words Nobel prize winner work like magic in making things delightfully easy.

Professor Ernest Watson and Sir John Cockcroft each received an award of £5,663.

'Diary of 1951' was broadcast on 31 December 1951.

The accompanying photo left to right shows Dr Ernest Walton (1903 - 1995), Lord Rutherford (1871 - 1937), Nobel prizewinner for chemistry (1908) and Dr John Cockcroft (1897 -1967).