On 30 April, 1897, J. J. Thomson announced the results of his previous four months' experiments on cathode rays. The rays, he suggested, were negatively charged subatomic particles. He called the particles ‘corpuscles’. They have since been re-named ‘electrons’ and Thomson has been hailed as their ‘discoverer’. Contrary to the accounts of most later writers, I show that this discovery was not the outcome of a concern with the nature of cathode rays which had occupied Thomson since 1881 and had shaped the course of his experiments during the period 1881–1897. An examination of his work shows that he paid scant attention to cathode rays until late 1896
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s0007087400023955
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 53,586
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Atoms and Elements.David Knight - 1968 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 18 (4):352-353.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The First Subatomic Explanations of the Periodic System.Helge Kragh - 2001 - Foundations of Chemistry 3 (2):129-143.
Electron Diffraction Chez Thomson: Early Responses to Quantum Physics in Britain.Jaume Navarro - 2010 - British Journal for the History of Science 43 (2):245-275.
Physical Constants and Reference Dynamics.Bernhard Lauth - 1993 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 24 (1):63 - 86.
Selbstdarstellung und Legendenbildung um das Müller-Unkelsche Lenard-Rohr.Günter Dörfel - 2000 - NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 8 (1):244-258.


Added to PP index

Total views
29 ( #342,542 of 2,348,637 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #329,903 of 2,348,637 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes