Sir Joseph John “J.J.” Thompson, OM, FRS was a British physicist and Nobel laureate.

He was born on the 18th of December 1856 in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England. He is the son of Emma Swindells and Joseph James Thomson. He was admitted to Owens College in 1806 at the age of 14, which was unusually young. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1876. Obtained a BA in Mathematics and MA in 1883. He became the Cavendish Professor of Physics in 1884.Thomson was a highly gifted teacher, as 8 students of his, including his son won Nobel Prizes in Physics. He, too, was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1906, due to his researches on the conduction of electricity by gases. He is credited for his discovery of the electron and of isotopes, and the invention of the mass spectrometer.

By the dawn of the 20th Century, scientist sort of knew that the atom had a positive charge because of the neutral charge it has in total. Scientists were curious on how the atom looked like and how they particles were arranged so in 1904, Thomson proposed a model of an atom as if it were Plum Pudding. The model basically looked like a Plum Pudding, hence the name. The protons would be a positive charge spread across a sphere while the electrons would be little balls (or cherries in the cake). The Gold Foil Experiment by Rutherford later disproved Thomson’s model by showing the proton was not spread across a sphere but was in the middle of the atom being surrounded by a cloud of electrons.

Chemistry - Group 5
LOGMAO, Francis Martin {cn11} NAVARRO, Aaron John {cn12} REYES, Michael Sigfrid {cn13} QUINTO, Celyn Jane {cn26} RIVERA, Patricia Yzabel {cn27}



JJ Thomson’s

At the Cavendish laboratory at Cambridge University, JJ Thomson was experimenting with currents of electricity inside electric glass tubes. He was investigating a long-standing puzzle known as “cathode rays.” He prompted a proposal in which these mysterious rays are streams of particles much smaller than atoms. He called these particles “corposcles”, and suggested that they might make up all of the matter in atoms. It was startling to imagine a particle residing inside the atom because people at that time thought the atom was the most fundamental unit of matter. Thomson’s speculation was not unambiguously supported by is experiments. It took more experimental work by Thomson and others to sort out the confusion. The atom is now known to contain other particles as well. Yet Thomson’s bold suggestion that cathode rays were material constituents of atoms turned out to be correct. The rays are made up of electrons: very small, negatively charged particles that are indeed fundamental parts of every atom.

In 1897, a British physicist named J. J. Thomson discovered electrons through his cathode ray experiments. Thomson made these cathode rays by firing electrical currents through glass pipes filled with low-density gas. Thomson measured the ratio of the mass of the cathode ray to its electrical charge. What he found was that the ratio was always the same, regardless of what elemental gas was in the pipe. These results indicated that the current inside the cathode ray tube was made of tiny particles that carried a negative charge -he later named these particles ‘electrons’ from ‘corpuscles’. Since the mass to charge ratio was the same no matter what gas he used inside the glass tube, Thomson reasoned that electrons must be common to all atoms, and that all electrons must be the same.

A cathode ray tube has a small heater element sealed inside a vacuum, a small positively charged electrode (a solid electric conductor where an electric current enters at one end and leaves at the other), and a negatively charged cathode. There is a fluorescent screen on the other end of the devise. When the element is connected to the cathode, a bright dot appears on the screen. The element is giving out an invisible beam, which is attracted to the electrode, passes through it and hits the screen. This beam is the cathode ray.


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