J.J. Thomson

J.J. Thomson By Nobel foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


You have been learning about the history of the atom, looking at its discovery and development from ancient to modern times. You should first review what you have learned in the first three lessons on this series and then move on to exploring the evolution of modern ideas on the inner workings of atoms and J.J. Thomson’s contributions. Use the resources on the J.J. Thomson student esheet to help you answer the questions on this sheet.

The Discovery of the Electron

Who was J.J. Thomson, and what was the nature of his work?



What did his experiments with cathode rays cause him to conclude?



Briefly describe the experimentation process that led him to this conclusion.



How would you describe Thomson? In what sense does he represent the best of human scientific endeavor?



Now, years later, how have Thomson’s assertions turned out?



What kind of impact did these findings about the inner workings of atoms have on technology?



What, in your opinion, is extraordinary about Thomson’s work?




Discovery, 1897

What do you see?



What is happening in the experiment?



What is remarkable about the experiment itself and what you just viewed?




Archive Recording

What is Thomson talking about?



What connection does Thomson make between the discovery of the electron and unemployment?



In your opinion, how has the work of Thomson advanced the study of atomic theory and the role of science in society?




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