Flash of the Cathode Rays: A History of J J Thomson's Electron
The electron is fundamental to almost all aspects of modern life, controlling the behavior of atoms and how they bind together to form gases, liquids, and solids. Flash of the Cathode Rays: A History of J.J. Thomson's Electron presents the compelling story of the discovery of the electron and its role as the first subatomic particle in nature. The book traces the evolution of the concept of electrical charge, from the earliest glow discharge studies to the final cathode ray and oil drop experiments of J.J. Thomson and Robert Millikan. It also provides an overview of the history of modern physics up to the advent of the old quantum theory around 1920.
Consolidating scholarly material while incorporating new material discovered by the well-respected author, the book covers the continental and English race for the source of the cathode rays, culminating in Thomson's corpuscle in 1897. It explores the events leading to Millikan's unambiguous isolation of the electron and the simultaneous circumstances surrounding the birth of Ernest Rutherford's nuclear atom and the discovery of radioactivity in 1896. The author also focuses on the controversies over N-rays, Becquerel's positive electron, and the famous Ehrenhaft-Millikan dispute over subelectrons.
Scholarly yet accessible to those with basic physics knowledge, this book should be of interest to historians of science, professional scientists and engineers, teachers and students of physics, and general readers interested in the development of modern physics.
ELECTROMAGNETIC PHENOMENA UNRAVELED
CATHODE RAYS TAKE CENTER STAGE
THE ENGLISH GET GOING
MEANWHILE BACK IN BERLIN
THE ENGLISH KEEP GOING
FROM PARIS TO THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
FROM LIVERPOOL TO PRINCETON
THE RACE FOR em
THE PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT REVISITED
A FRENCH COTTAGE INDUSTRY
THE ELECTRONIC CHARGE REVISITED AND
DAWNING OF THE ATOMIC AGE
THE CHARGE AND THE MASS
a-particles anode apparatus Arthur Schuster atom Becquerel Berlin Blondlot Bohr British Association Cambridge canal rays cathode rays Cavendish Laboratory chemical College corpuscles Crookes discharge tube discovery Ehrenhaft electric field electrical discharge electrolytic electromagnetic emitted experimental experiments Faraday Figure fluorescent force gases Geiger Giesel glass Helmholtz Henri Becquerel Hertz hydrogen ionization ions J J Thomson Jean Becquerel Kamerlingh Onnes lecture Leiden Lenard Lenard's lines London Lorentz magnetic deflection magnetic field Manchester mass mathematics matter Maxwell's measurements metal Michael Faraday Millikan molecules N-rays nature negatively charged Notes section observed paper Philosophical Magazine phosphorescent photoelectric photoelectric effect photographic plate physicist physics polarization polonium positive electrons positive ray pressure professor PTRS radiation radioactivity radium Rayleigh Rontgen Rontgen rays Royal Institution Royal Society Rutherford scattering Schuster scientific screen sodium spectra student theory Thomson J J University uranium vacuum velocity wire x-rays Zeeman effect