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Grade: 12


what was used cathode rays experiment?

6 years ago

Answers : (2)

Aarti Gupta
askIITians Faculty
300 Points
							In cathode ray experiment an discharge tube is taken in along glass tube which consist of metal electrodes on either end across which high voltage can be applied.The tube is connected to a vaccum pump for controlling the pressure of gas inside the discharge tube.Apparently different gases were tried in cathode ray tube at the time,but based on the fact that Thomson used an evacuated tube,then gas expected to be was air.
Thanks & regards
Aarti Gupta
askiitians Faculty
6 years ago
47 Points
							J. J. Thomson was one of the great scientists of the 19th century; his inspired and innovative cathode ray experiment greatly contributed to our understanding of the modern world.
Thomson’s First Cathode Ray Experiment

Thomson had an inkling that the ‘rays’ emitted from the electron gun were inseparable from the latent charge, and decided to try and prove this by using a magnetic field.

His first experiment was to build a cathode ray tube with a metal cylinder on the end. This cylinder had two slits in it, leading to electrometers, which could measure small electric charges.

He found that by applying a magnetic field across the tube, there was no activity recorded by the electrometers and so the charge had been bent away by the magnet. This proved that the negative charge and the ray were inseparable and intertwined.

Thomson`s Cathode Ray Second Experiment

Like all great scientists, he did not stop there, and developed the second stage of the experiment, to prove that the rays carried a negative charge. To prove this hypothesis, he attempted to deflect them with an electric field.

Earlier experiments had failed to back this up, but Thomson thought that the vacuum in the tube was not good enough, and found ways to improve greatly the quality.

For this, he constructed a slightly different cathode ray tube, with a fluorescent coating at one end and a near perfect vacuum. Halfway down the tube were two electric plates, producing a positive anode and a negative cathode, which he hoped would deflect the rays.

As he expected, the rays were deflected by the electric charge, proving beyond doubt that the rays were made up of charged particles carrying a negative charge. This result was a major discovery in itself, but Thomson resolved to understand more about the nature of these particles.

Thomson`s Third Experiment

The third experiment was a brilliant piece of scientific deduction and shows how a series of experiments can gradually uncover truths.

Many great scientific discoveries involve performing a series of interconnected experiments, gradually accumulating data and proving a hypothesis.

He decided to try to work out the nature of the particles. They were too small to have their mass or charge calculated directly, but he attempted to deduce this from how much the particles were bent by electrical currents, of varying strengths.

Thomson found out that the charge to mass ratio was so large that the particles either carried a huge charge, or were a thousand times smaller than a hydrogen ion. He decided upon the latter and came up with the idea that the cathode rays were made of particles that emanated from within the atoms themselves, a very bold and innovative idea.

Later Developments

Thomson came up with the initial idea for the structure of the atom, postulating that it consisted of these negatively charged particles swimming in a sea of positive charge. His pupil, Rutherford, developed the idea and came up with the theory that the atom consisted of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by orbiting tiny negative particles, which he called electrons.

Quantum physics has shown things to be a little more complex than this but all quantum physicists owe their legacy to Thomson. Although atoms were known about, as apparently indivisible elementary particles, he was the first to postulate that they had a complicated internal structure.

Thomson`s greatest gift to physics was not his experiments, but the next generation of great scientists who studied under him, including Rutherford, Oppenheimer and Aston. These great minds were inspired by him, marking him out as one of the grandfathers of modern physics
6 years ago
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