Histories of the electron: the birth of microphysics by Jed Z. Buchwald, Andrew Warwick

By Jed Z. Buchwald, Andrew Warwick

Desktop generated contents notice: advent -- Jed Z. Buchwald and Andrew Warwick -- I CORPUSCLES AND ELECTRONS -- 1 J. J. THOMSON AND THE ELECTRON, 1897-1899 -- George E. Smith -- 2 CORPUSCLES TO ELECTRONS -- Isobel Falconer -- three THE QUESTIONABLE topic OF electrical energy: THE RECEPTION OF J. J. THOMSON'S ''CORPUSCLE'' between electric THEORISTS AND TECHNOLOGISTS -- Graeme Gooday -- four PAUL VILLARD, J. J. THOMSON, AND THE COMPOSITION OF CATHODE RAYS -- Benoit Lelong -- II WHAT was once the infant ELECTRON reliable FOR? -- five THE ZEEMAN impact AND the invention OF THE ELECTRON -- Theodore Arabatzis -- 6 THE ELECTRON, THE PROTYLE, AND THE cohesion OF topic -- Helge Kragh -- 7 zero. W. RICHARDSON AND THE ELECTRON conception OF topic, 1901-1916 -- Ole Knudsen -- eight ELECTRON fuel thought OF METALS: unfastened ELECTRONS IN BULK subject -- Walter Kaiser -- III ELECTRONS utilized AND APPROPRIATED -- nine THE ELECTRON AND THE NUCLEUS -- Laurie M. Brown -- 10 THE ELECTRON, the opening, AND THE TRANSISTOR -- Lillian Hoddeson and Michael Riordan -- eleven home improvement A vintage: THE ELECTRON IN natural CHEMISTRY, 1900-1940 -- MaryJo Nye -- 12 THE PHYSICISTS' ELECTRON AND ITS APPROPRIATION through THE CHEMISTS -- Kostas Gavroglu -- IV PHILOSOPHICAL ELECTRONS -- thirteen WHO particularly found THE ELECTRON? -- Peter Achinstein -- 14 historical past AND METAPHYSICS: at the truth OF SPIN -- Margaret Morrison -- 15 WHAT should still PHILOSOPHERS OF technology study FROM THE heritage OF THE ELECTRON? -- Jonathan Bain and John D. Norton -- sixteen THE position OF concept within the USE OF tools; OR, How a lot will we want to know approximately ELECTRONS -- TO DO technological know-how WITH AN ELECTRON MICROSCOPE? -- Nicolas Rasmussen and Alan Chalmers

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By Jed Z. Buchwald, Andrew Warwick

Desktop generated contents notice: advent -- Jed Z. Buchwald and Andrew Warwick -- I CORPUSCLES AND ELECTRONS -- 1 J. J. THOMSON AND THE ELECTRON, 1897-1899 -- George E. Smith -- 2 CORPUSCLES TO ELECTRONS -- Isobel Falconer -- three THE QUESTIONABLE topic OF electrical energy: THE RECEPTION OF J. J. THOMSON'S ''CORPUSCLE'' between electric THEORISTS AND TECHNOLOGISTS -- Graeme Gooday -- four PAUL VILLARD, J. J. THOMSON, AND THE COMPOSITION OF CATHODE RAYS -- Benoit Lelong -- II WHAT was once the infant ELECTRON reliable FOR? -- five THE ZEEMAN impact AND the invention OF THE ELECTRON -- Theodore Arabatzis -- 6 THE ELECTRON, THE PROTYLE, AND THE cohesion OF topic -- Helge Kragh -- 7 zero. W. RICHARDSON AND THE ELECTRON conception OF topic, 1901-1916 -- Ole Knudsen -- eight ELECTRON fuel thought OF METALS: unfastened ELECTRONS IN BULK subject -- Walter Kaiser -- III ELECTRONS utilized AND APPROPRIATED -- nine THE ELECTRON AND THE NUCLEUS -- Laurie M. Brown -- 10 THE ELECTRON, the opening, AND THE TRANSISTOR -- Lillian Hoddeson and Michael Riordan -- eleven home improvement A vintage: THE ELECTRON IN natural CHEMISTRY, 1900-1940 -- MaryJo Nye -- 12 THE PHYSICISTS' ELECTRON AND ITS APPROPRIATION through THE CHEMISTS -- Kostas Gavroglu -- IV PHILOSOPHICAL ELECTRONS -- thirteen WHO particularly found THE ELECTRON? -- Peter Achinstein -- 14 historical past AND METAPHYSICS: at the truth OF SPIN -- Margaret Morrison -- 15 WHAT should still PHILOSOPHERS OF technology study FROM THE heritage OF THE ELECTRON? -- Jonathan Bain and John D. Norton -- sixteen THE position OF concept within the USE OF tools; OR, How a lot will we want to know approximately ELECTRONS -- TO DO technological know-how WITH AN ELECTRON MICROSCOPE? -- Nicolas Rasmussen and Alan Chalmers

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This is not to say that Thomson did not believe the working hypothesis he put forward. Rather, the question whether he believed it or not is largely beside the point so long as his goal was to formulate a comprehensive, detailed theory thoroughly tied to experiment and the hypothesis was unmistakably not yet enabling him to achieve progress toward that goal. ”42 Perrot’s experiments had shown that chemical equivalents of hydrogen and oxygen are released respectively at the cathode and anode when electricity passes through steam, just as in electrolysis.

Most of this lecture-withdemonstrations was again devoted to these experiments, but what made news was the subatomic hypothesis he placed before his distinguished audience at the end. The tenor of the reaction can be seen in an editorial remark in The Electrician three months later: “Prof. J. J. ”54 The text of the April 30 talk appeared in the May 21 issue of The Electrician, immediately following FitzGerald’s commentary on it. After a brief review of the history of cathode rays, Thomson presented some experiments displaying the deflection of the rays in magnetic fields, in the process providing visible evidence that their trajectory in a uniform field is circular.

J. T   E, 1897–1899 27 Because Thomson himself was a central figure in the electrical science in which ether theory and questions about the fundamental character of electricity were at the forefront, he had to go through a personal version of the transition that his papers effected. For this reason, an examination of Thomson’s three seminal papers needs to start a little before 1897. S H         B         One tends to forget how much clearer the fundamental importance of cathode rays is in retrospect than it was during the six decades of research on electrical discharges at reduced pressures prior to the last years of the nineteenth century.

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