December 18, 1856 – Birth of Joseph J. Thomson, discoverer of the electron

He was a British scientist who had many achievements in his scientific career:

-He carried out a series of experiments in cathode ray tubes that led to the discovery of electrons.

-Invented positive rays and discovered how to use them to separate atoms of different mass, deflecting them through electric and magnetic fields (mass spectrometry). Thus he discovered that neon has two isotopes (Ne-20 and Ne-22).

-He showed that hydrogen has a single electron, allowing the confirmation or rejection of various theories that existed until now about the number of electrons, just like carbon.

-He proposed a second atomic model (the first was proposed by Dalton in 1794), which could be characterized as a positively charged sphere in which electrons are embedded.

In 1906, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in recognition of the great merits of his theoretical and experimental investigations in the conduction of electricity generated by gases.

In 1991, the Thomson (Th) = 1.036 x 10-8 KgC-1 was proposed by chemists as a unit of mass-charge measurement in mass spectroscopy. However, it has become an obsolete unit and has not been incorporated into the International System.

As a curiosity, he had a son, George Paget Thomson who became an outstanding physicist, who in turn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1937 for demonstrating the wave-like properties of electrons.

If you want to know more about this scientist, click on the following link: Joseph J. Thomson

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