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Two landmarks in the history of physics are the discovery of the particulate nature of cathode rays (the electron) by J. J. Thomson in 1897 and the experimental demonstration by his son G. P. Thomson in 1927 that the electron exhibits the properties of a wave. Together, the Thomsons are two of the most significant figures in modern physics, both winning Nobel prizes for their work. This book presents the intellectual biographies of the father-and-son physicists, shedding new light on their combined understanding of the nature of electrons and, by extension, of the continuous nature of matter. It is the first text to explore J. J. Thomson's early and later work, as well as the role he played in G. P. Thomson's education as a physicist and how he reacted to his son's discovery of electron diffraction. This fresh perspective will interest academics and graduate students working in the history of early twentieth-century physics.Read more
- The first book to bring together the biographies of the father-and-son physicists, J. J. and G. P. Thomson, with a focus on the significance of the electron in their work
- Clear language that is free from unnecessary technicalities makes this accessible to the non-scientist
- Systematically describes a key episode in the British reception of quantum physics in the early twentieth century
Reviews & endorsements
"It will appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of modern science."
Barry R. Masters for Optics & Photonics News
24th Apr 2019 by Gmansilla
It's a really interesting subject! Often an historical/epistemological perspective contributes to bring the interest of our students, especially in engineering courses, for whom physics itself is not their goal. I will encourage my students to read!
Review was not posted due to profanity×
- Date Published: March 2019
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108724432
- dimensions: 246 x 188 x 11 mm
- weight: 0.38kg
- contains: 12 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The early years in Manchester and Cambridge
2. J. J. Thomson's early work in Cambridge: a continuous and all-embracing physics
3. The ether and the corpuscle: from waves to particles
4. On creeds and policies: the corpuscular theory of matter
5. Father and son. Old and new physics
6. The electron in Aberdeen: from particle to wave
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