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This paper sought to study electrons in atoms; their history, science and applications. Both case study and descriptive research designs were employed r. Secondary sources were the main data sources used in this study.
The first discovery of an electron was made by Sir John Joseph Thompson when he was studying Mysterious rays, today’s cathode rays in 1898 (Richards). Thompson made a very bold suggestion the mysterious rays were made up particles that were smaller than atoms, which he named corpuscles. Thompson further suggested that corpuscles might be the component of all the matter in an atom (AIP). By then the atom was believed to be the smallest indivisible particle of matter; hence the Thompsons theory was controversial until he, together with other scientists and proved it experimentally. Thompson’s suggestion that cathode rays were made of corpuscles later turned to be electrons, tiny, with a negative charge and the fundamental parts of an atom turned to be correct.
In the mid-nineteenth century, an experiment of a glass tube with wires implanted in opposite sides, air pumped out, and a high voltage applied was very popular. Lovely glow patterns were made inside the tube. The experiment was improved by a German physicist in 1859, and the fluorescent glow was produced where the cathode light reached the glass. This experiment was a proof that the cathode emitted some kind ray (AIP).
Speculations were made by physicists, including Thompson concerning these mysterious rays. Some thought they were waves like light waves while others, including Thompson thought they were particles. More experiments were made. A magnet was observed to push the rays about. Heinrich Hertz, a German Physicist, noted that the mysterious rays were not deflected by an electric field in a cathode ray tube as was expected for charged particles. More confusion engulfed scientists, and more experiments were needed to resolve the uncertainties.
Jean Perrin, a French
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