Scientists researched electrons and came to know about electrons after the battery was developed as we can see in the JJ Thomson's model that he used the cathode and anode. My question is that that if the scientists have known already that there are positive and negative charge that they have made the battery they should have known about electrons.

I am confused in this. Research tells that electrons were first discovered by JJ Thomson and that there are negative charges in atoms. My question is that that, without knowing about electrons how were the ideas of cathode and anode developed.


closed as unclear what you're asking by Todd Minehardt, Jon Custer, Mithoron, andselisk, Tyberius Jan 2 at 18:44

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The bottom line is that scientific experiments describing electrical phenomena are possible without any good theory about what causes the phenomena. Static electricity has been known since ancient times, batteries were discovered long before any theory that explained them well. Thomson's breakthrough gave us a good theory (or parts of it) not all of which mashed well with previous ideas (electricity flows in the opposite direction to electrons which actually explain the electricity because the flow was defined before a good theory about what was happening). $\endgroup$ – matt_black Jan 2 at 14:31

Electricity is a macroscopic phenomenon. It does not depend on the notion of an electron.

In 1733 Charles François de Cisternay du Fay discovered the existence of positive and negative charge. In 1800, after the invention of the voltaic pile, the first electrolysis experiments that showed the effect of electric current on water have been made.

In 1833 Michael Faraday defined the terms cathode and anode:

The anode is therefore that surface at which the electric current, according to our present expression, enters : it is the negative extremity of the decomposing body; is where oxygen, chlorine, acids, &e., are evolved; and is against or opposite the positive electrode. The cathode is that surface at which the current leaves the decomposing body, and is its positive extremity ; the combustible bodies, metals, alkalies, and bases, are evolved there, and it is in contact with the negative electrode.

His definition does not involve particles of any type. In fact Richard Laming firstly hypothesized the concept of an indivisible quantity of electric charge in 1838.

You may want to study https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_electrochemistry for further information.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathode#Etymology This section of Wikipedia also provides some insight from the perspective on the origin of the names "cathode" and "anode." $\endgroup$ – Zhe Jan 2 at 16:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.