Jean Baptiste Perrin, French physicist

Jean Baptiste Perrin, French physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Jean Baptiste Perrin (1870-1942), French physicist. Perrin was born and educated in France, and was a professor at the Sorbonne, University of Paris, from 1910. His work on cathode rays showed that they were negatively charged particles (later called electrons). He also studied X-rays and the phenomenon of fluorescence. His work on colloids, confirming Avogadro's number (N), demonstrated the atomic nature of matter, and won Perrin the 1926 Nobel Prize for Physics. Perrin escaped France for the USA when Germany invaded in 1940. After World War II, his body was reburied in France.

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