Thomson's Model

by NicholasKoh
Last updated 8 years ago


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Thomson's Model

Thomson's Model

In 1904 Thomson theorised a model of the atom as a spherical mass of positive matter in which electrons are positioned inside it by electrostatic forces.

In 1897 British physicist Joseph John Thomson, while carrying out a series of experiments aiming to study the behaviour of electric discharge in a 'high-vacuum cathode-ray tube', he discovered electrons in atoms

Thomson's last important experiment aimed to determine the behaviour of positively charged particles. During the experiment his techniques led to the development of the mass spectroscope, an instrument perfected by his assistant, Francis Aston

Thomson's discovery of the electron came from his work on a scientific curiosity during the nineteenth century, the 'cathode ray tube'. For years scientists had known that if an electric current was passed through a vacuum tube, a stream of glowing substances were observed. However, there was no explanation for this phenomenon. Thomson found that the luminous stream would bend toward a positively charged electric plate. Thomson theorized, and was later proven correct, that the stream was in fact made up of small sub-atomic particles, pieces of atoms that carried a negative charge. These particles were later named electrons.


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