Joseph John ThomsonJeff WilliamsMrs. MasonChemistry03/15/01Period 6
Joseph John Thomson was born on December 18, 1856 in Cheetham Hill, a suburb of Manchester, England. When J.J. was fourteen he entered Owens College and took some experimental physics courses. He then entered Cambridge University, on a scholarship, where he would remain involved with the university until his death on August 30, 1940 • Interviewer; Question #1: Were you ever married and/or have any children? • J.J.: Yes I was married to Rose Elizabeth Paget and I had two children one son, George Paget Thomson, who also became a physicist, like myself, and a daughter Joan Paget Thomson, whom accompanied me to many of my speeches and lectures.
Interviewer; Question #2: Where did you meet miss Rose Paget?J.J.: I met Miss Rose Paget, my future wife, at Cavendish Laboratory while I was experimenting in the lab on electromagnetism and atomic particles. Rose was experimenting on soap films in the lab abd attended some of my lectures at the university.
Interviewer; Question #3: What was the Cavendish Laboratory?J.J.: James Clerk Maxwell founded the Cavendish Laboratory in 1871. James was also, obviously, the first professor in the lab. I was the third professor chosen after Lord Rayleigh.
Interviewer; Question #4: Why were you so highly accepted at Cavendish Laboratory?J.J.: I entered Trinity College in 1876, I became a Fellow of Trinity College in 1880 where I finished second in my class. I was Second Wrangler and Second Smith’s Prizeman and became Lecturer in 1883 and then I was accepted at Cavendish Laboratory.
Interviewer; Question #5: What is a cathode ray tube and how does it work?J.J.: A cathode ray tube is a glass tube with wires embedded in opposite ends. You put a high voltage across the wires, pumped out most of the air and the interior of the tube would glow in lovely patterns.Interviewer; Question #6: What was the controversy surrounding the cathode ray tube?J.J.: All the German physicists thought that the visible rays were produced by ether a weightless substance thought to pervade space. British and French physicists thought the rays were electrified particles.
Interviewer; Question #7: How did you stop this controversy?J.J.: I applied a new improved vacum technique to the tube, which created a convincing argument that the rays were composed of particles. Also these rays seemed to be made of the same particles, which I called corpuscles.
Interviewer; Question #8: Throughworking with all these results did you put any information you obtained into mathematical use?J.J.: Yes I did. I took the mass of a certain particle to its electric charge. I could then measure how much the ray would be affected by a magnetic field.
Interview; Question #9: In determining if atoms were made up of smaller parts I have learned that you conducted three experiments what was the first?J.J.: I built a cathode ray tube with a pair of metal cylinders with a slit in them. These cylinders were also connected to an electrometer, a device for catching and measuring electrical charge.
Interview; Question #10: What experiments followed? J.J.: I thought of a new way to bend cathode rays by surrounding it by a conductor. I suspected that the traces were reacting with the gases still remaining in the tube. I extracted all the gas out of the tube I possibly could and the cathode ray did bend. Also on the third experiment which I previously explained by determining the distance a cathode ray would bend by the equation I thought of.
Interviewer; Question # 11: Mr. Thomson, can you explain what you found an electron to be. J.J. : Well through all my years researching and experimenting I have concluded a corpuscle ( electron ) is a tiny part of an atom in fact it is hundreds of times smaller than an atom. I think these negatively charged corpuscles swarm around a cloud of positive charges.
Interviewer; Question # 12: Mr.Thomson you are a very decorated man please speak of some of the awards you won. J.J.: Well I don’t really like to brag but a few of the awards I have won are: the Order of Merit in 1912, I was chosen as the Master of my college, Trinity, and my greatest achievement is the Noble Prize in 1906 for my work with the corpuscles.Interviewer: Also Mr.. Thomson would later become known as the “grandfather of the electron.”
Works Cited1. Http://www.aip.prg/history/electron/jjthomson.htm2.Http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/8/0,5716/74088+2+72205,00.html3. Http://www.nmsi.ac.uk/on-line/electron/section2/discovery.html4. Http://www.aip.org/history/electron/jj1897.htm5. Http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1906/thomson-bio.html6. Http://www.dbhs.wvusd.k12.ca.us/atomicstucture/disc-of-electron-intro.html