Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1906
J.J. Thomson

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J.J. Thomson - Facts

Joseph John Thomson

Joseph John Thomson

Born: 18 December 1856, Cheetham Hill, near Manchester, United Kingdom

Died: 30 August 1940, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Prize motivation: "in recognition of the great merits of his theoretical and experimental investigations on the conduction of electricity by gases"

Field: atomic physics

Prize share: 1/1


The idea that electricity is transmitted by a tiny particle related to the atom was first forwarded in the 1830s. In the 1890s, J.J. Thomson managed to estimate its magnitude by performing experiments with charged particles in gases. In 1897 he showed that cathode rays (radiation emitted when a voltage is applied between two metal plates inside a glass tube filled with low-pressure gas) consist of particles - electrons - that conduct electricity. Thomson also concluded that electrons are part of atoms.

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