Electrical Atoms and the Electron

  • C. H. Holbrow
  • J. N. Lloyd
  • J. C. Amato

Abstract

One important result of physicists’ increased understanding of electricity and magnetism was the recognition that atoms are electrical in nature. In the 1830s Michael Faraday’s1 studies of the flow of electricity through solutions contributed evidence that electricity is itself “atomic,” i.e., made up of small indivisible units of electric charge. In 1894, G.J. Stoney proposed the word “electron” as the name for such a natural unit of charge. In 1897 the British physicist J.J. Thomson used electric and magnetic deflection to establish the existence of the tiny particle of electricity that we now call “the electron.” His work also showed that the electron is a fundamental component of every atom and intimately related to its chemical properties. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century the American physicist Robert A. Millikan had measured the electron’s mass and charge to within one percent.

Keywords

Integer Multiple Inkjet Printer Elementary Charge Terminal Velocity Charged Droplet 
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References

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    Michael Faraday, 1791–1867, born of a poor family near London, received only the equivalent of an elementary school education. Apprenticed to a bookbinder at thirteen, Faraday took to reading everything he could find, especially scientific books. Attendance at some lectures on chemistry by Sir Humphrey Davy led to his applying for and receiving a position as assistant to Davy. From this beginning, Faraday trained himself in science to the point where his discoveries in chemistry and electromagnetism, as well as his extremely popular public lectures, brought him renown and many honors.Google Scholar
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    Ordinary tap water has enough dissolved material to be a pretty good electrical conductor, which is why you should not stand in a puddle of water during alightning storm or become an electrolytic cell by touching a live wire.Google Scholar
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    See Great Experiments in Physics. Morris H. Shamos, Ed., Holt and Co., New York, 1959, p. 128, for extensively annotated excerpts from the original publications of Faraday on electrolysis and electromagnetism, as well as from the works of other important physicists. Short biographies of the pioneers we are discussing in this chapter are also included.Google Scholar
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    A quite detailed description of the considerations that went into the design of the inkjet printer developed by IBM for the IBM 46/40 Document Printer is given in “Application of Ink Jet Technology to a Word Processing Output Printer,” W.L. Buehner, J.D. Hill, T.H. Williams, and J.W. Woods, IBMJ. Res. Develop., 1–9 (Jan. 1977), and in other articles in this issue of the IBM Journal of Research and Development.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. H. Holbrow
    • 1
  • J. N. Lloyd
  • J. C. Amato
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyColgate UniversityHamiltonUSA

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