6
$\begingroup$

How was it determined that the electron observed in the cathode ray experiments was the same particle that gave an atom its balancing negative charge?

Couldn't there have been an entirely different negatively charged particle? What justified that assumption?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to chemistry.SE! It's always better to have the main question in the body too. Alright, now I have to go check back my textbook... :) $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Apr 5 '15 at 18:18
0
$\begingroup$

The idea that the atom contains small indivisible quantities of electric charge was developed in the 19th century by various contributors (e.g. Faraday, Stoney, Laming, Weber, and Helmholtz).

When Thomson (Nobel Prize in physics 1906) discovered the electron in 1897 and estimated its mass and charge, he used the free electrons of cathode rays.

The important experiment that showed that atoms contain electrons was the discovery of the Zeeman effect in 1896, i.e. the splitting of spectral lines in the presence of a magnetic field. Lorentz explained the phenomena with his electron theory. In 1902, Lorentz and Zeeman jointly received the Nobel Prize in physics.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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