Abstract
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
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DOI 10.1017/s0007087400023955
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Atoms and Elements.David Knight - 1968 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 18 (4):352-353.

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