J.J. Thomson

Topics: Electron, Electric charge, Atom Pages: 3 (1052 words) Published: February 6, 2011
J.J. Thomson

Joseph John Thomson was born in Manchester, England in 1856. Thomson was indeed a good scientist, but he did not know that at first. He attended college at a time when science was finally getting recognized as an important subject (Morgan). Thomson's road to becoming a scientist was not paved for him from the start, as his father had other plans for him. Joseph was intended to become an engineer, but when the time came to pay for his studies, his family could not make ends meet. Instead, Thomson attended Owens College in Manchester. The wonderful science professors at Owens College recognized Thomson's niche for science and recommended that he attend Trinity College located in Cambridge (J.J. Thomson). There, Thomson became a mathematical physicist, and in 1884 he was offered the position of Cavendish Professorship of Experimental Physics at Cambridge. He was twenty-eight years old when he accepted this position, and people were very surprised because he was young, and was considered a trained mathematician, not a scientist (Morgan). However, it seems that Joseph John Thomson proved all of his doubters wrong.

The first experiment Thomson conducted focused on the resistance of metal wires affects on temperature, which lead to even more important research on methods of measuring extremely high temperatures. Finally he settled on one field, the discharge of electricity through gases at low pressures, in which most of his best work was done (Morgan). Thomson's studies on electro-magnetic radiation and discharge through gases are the most closely related characteristics of physics taught today in schools and universities all over the world.

In 1897 Thomson discovered the electron, his most notable achievement. At the time of his discovery many other scientists were working on the same thing (Joseph John Thomson). He was doing a lot of research on the nature of electric discharge in a high-vacuum cathode-ray tube. The ray’s deflection by...

Cited: "A Look Inside the Atom." The American Institute of Physics -- Physics Publications and Resources. 01 Apr. 2009 <http://www.aip.org/history/electron/jjhome.htm>.
"J.J. Thomson - Biography." Nobelprize.org. 01 Apr. 2009 <http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/lauretes/1906/thomson-bio.html>.
"Joseph John Thomson." History of Chemistry - Chemical Heritage Foundation. 01 Apr. 2009 <http:// www.chemheritage.org/classroom/chemach/atomic/thomson.html>.
Morgan, Bryan. Men and Discoveries in Electricity. England: John Murray, 1964.
"Sir J.J. Thomson." Atomicarchive.com: Exploring the History, Science, and Consequences of the Atomic Bomb. 04 Apr. 2009 <http://www.atomicarchive.com/Bios/Thomson.shtml>.
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