For an explanation, see the main splats page
SPLATS about the nature of the electron
The principles of the nature of the electron
- In 1834, Michael Faraday used the expression 'atoms of electricity', generally taken now as the earliest reference to what we today call the electron.
- George Johnstone Stoney coined the name 'electron' for the unit of electric charge, in 1874. Later, this name was transferred to the cathode ray particles.
- If scientists could measure the charge/mass ratio (e/m) for an electron, that was proof that there was really something fitting the name 'atom of electricity'.
- In 1890, Arthur Schuster measured the e/m ratio for electrons, and found the value was about 1000 times the value for a hydrogen ion. He dismissed it as wrong.
- In 1895, Jean Perrin showed that cathode rays are negative particles, rather than being a form of electromagnetic radiation, as German scientists believed.
- Jean Perrin showed that cathode rays had negative charge, leading the way for J. J. Thomson to measure the ratio e/m, and prove that electrons were particles.
- In 1897, both Walter Kaufmann and J. J. Thomson carried out separate measurements of the electron charge to mass ratio by deflection of cathode rays.
- When J J Thomson measured the charge/mass ratio of the electron, e/m, this proved once and for all that electrons were particles, not electromagnetic radiation.
- R A Millikan succeeded in studying the behaviour of charged oil drops in an electric field, and so deduced the charge on the electron, and that it was uniform.
- In 1924, Louis de Broglie more or less suggested that electrons might be in some ways like waves. Actually, he said that the particles were guided by waves.
- In 1927, Clinton Davisson, Lester Germer, and G. P. Thomson demonstrated electron diffraction by a crystal, showing that electrons have wavelike properties.
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