Rutherford Building Manchester, United Kingdom

Where they split the atom

Some of the most important breakthroughs in science took place in this building, the former physics lab at the University of Manchester. It's now called the Rutherford Building, for Ernest Rutherford, who became the first person to split the atom while working here in 1917.

I did a Masters at the University (not in physics, I must add) and used to have a class directly opposite here. At around the same time, a potential scandal broke out when the Rutherford Building was linked to the deaths from cancer of six people who had worked in it over the years. I seem to remember it was sealed off for a while so an inquiry could take place. It concluded the deaths were a coincidence, and the building is open again.

Where they split the atom