We learn that JJ Thomson discovered the electron in 1897. Several years EARLIER in 1886, Eugen Goldstein performs the same experiment but with the anode and cathode switched to produce positively charged canal rays. My question is, did JJ know about Goldstein’s experiment? I’m surmising he did not, as it wouldn’t have taken such a leap to conclude that Goldstein’s was a positive particle as well as the negative electron JJ discovered. Does anyone know the history who can confirm this is true or prove it is false?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Stack Exchange History of Science and Mathematics will get you the response. Secondly have you tried looking at the original paper of JJ and does he cite Goldstein using Google Scholar? Most likely he does. $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Jan 6, 2021 at 6:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ See the original paper. web.lemoyne.edu/~giunta/thomson1897.html#footnote. The charge of cathode "rays" was determined by Perrin not by JJ. $\endgroup$
    – AChem
    Jan 6, 2021 at 8:13


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.