Ernest Walton
€15 Silver Proof Coin 2015
REF : 2265
Irish Science and Inventions: A Tribute to Ireland's Nobel Prize Winner in Physics


- +

Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton, born in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford in 1903, is the only Irish person to win a Nobel Prize in Physics. His achievement in artificially splitting the atomic nucleus was one of the great scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century. Graduating in Experimental Science and Mathematics from Trinity College Dublin, Walton won a research scholarship to work with Sir Ernest Rutherford at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge. During the early 1930s Walton and John Douglas Cockcroft developed a proton accelerator which they used to split the lithium nucleus. Their experiments confirmed a number of scientific predictions arising out of relativity theory and quantum mechanics and proved that a large amount of energy could be released in a nuclear reaction, thus providing the first experimental verification of Einstein’s famous mass/energy equivalence equation, E=mc2. In 1951 Walton and Cockcroft were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their pioneering work on the transmutation of a nucleus by artificially accelerated atomic particles.

These beautifully minted €15 collector coins are a fitting tribute to the great Irish scientist, Ernest Walton. This coin is the second in the series honouring the life and work of Irish scientists and inventors. The first coin in the series, issued in 2014, honoured Co. Clare born John Philip Holland for his work in developing the modern submarine. Walton's achievements and the low issue limit of 6,000 will undoubtedly appeal to collectors throughout the world.

The designer Rory Breslin studied art at the National College of Art and Design as well as in England, France, Czech Republic and Slovakia. He co-founded the Head Sculpture gallery in Dublin, has lectured in the National College of Art and Design and has had numerous solo drawing and sculpture exhibitions in Ireland and abroad. As Rory said, “Walton’s own words were the primary driver in the design of the coin. It commemorates his curiosity and inability to resist the temptation to view the results of what he and Cockcroft had worked on. The design thus portrays the intimate machinations of the experiment itself, to give an artist’s impression and explanation to the equation we all know, but few of us understand, E=mc2”.

Featured Product No
Quality Proof
Year 2015
Metal Sterling Silver
Coin Weight 28.28
Denomination 15
Diameter 38.61
Fineness 0.925
Issue limit 6000
Designer Reverse Rory Breslin