J. J. Thomson announces his discovery of the electron

30 Apr 2020  Thu

On 30th April in the year, 1897 J. J. Thomson of the Cavendish Laboratory announces his discovery of the electron as a subatomic particle, over 1,800 times smaller than a proton (in the atomic nucleus), at a lecture at the Royal Institution in London.

Sir Joseph John Thomson was an English physicist who took science to new heights with his 1897 discovery. He received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1906 and was knighted in 1908. Thomson was born on 18th December 1856, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England. At the age of 14, he entered Owens College (University of Manchester). In 1876, he moved on to Trinity College, Cambridge. After taking his B.A. degree in mathematics, the opportunity of doing experimental research drew him to the Cavendish Laboratory. In 1883, he received his Masters of Arts degree (with Adams Prize).

Thomson began studying cathode rays, and his research led to the discovery of the electron, and he pursued further innovations in atomic structure exploration. In 1906 he received the Nobel Prize for Physics for his researches into the electrical conductivity of gases. Besides this, he was honored with various prestigious awards such as, in 1908 he was knighted; in 1909 he was made the president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 1912 he received the Order of Merit.

Various postage stamps were issued commemorating him for his contribution; one of them is issued by Sweden Postal Department. The 30 Swedish Ore stamp depicts the portrait of JJ Thomson, along with Giosue Carducci.

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