• Ruth PöttgenEmail author
Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)


The idea that all matter is made of not further divisible particles dates back to the greek philosopher Democritus and his teacher Leucippus, who called these fundamental particles atoms. The actual beginning of what today is known as elementary particle physics, however, can rather be placed in 1897, when J.J. Thomson discovered that cathode rays were actually made of negatively charged particles, which he initially called corpuscles (Thomson, Philos Mag 44:293–316, (1897), [1]). He thought of the atom as a “plum pudding”, with the electrons immersed in a positively charged paste.


Dark Matter Large Hadron Collider Atlas Detector Galaxy Cluster Trigger System 
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    Thomson J (1897) Cathode rays. Philos Mag 44:293–316. doi: 10.1080/14786449708621070 Google Scholar
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    Rutherford E (1911) The scattering of alpha and beta particles by matter and the structure of the atom. Philos Mag 21:669–688. doi: 10.1080/14786440508637080 CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
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    Chadwick J (1932) The existence of a neutron. R Soc Lond Proc Ser A 136:692–708. doi: 10.1098/rspa.1932.0112 ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Zwicky F (1933) Die Rotverschiebung von extragalaktischen Nebeln. Helv Phys Acta 6:110–127ADSzbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.FysikumStockholms Universitet (SU)StockholmSweden

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