George Thomson

George Thomson

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sir George Paget Thomson (1892-1975), British physicist. In 1927 he performed a classic experiment with a student, Alexander Reid. They passed a beam of electrons through a thin metal foil, observing interference patterns. Although this was not the purpose of the experiment, it provided important evidence of the wave-like properties of atomic particles (the wave-particle duality). Thomson shared the 1937 Nobel Prize for physics with Davisson, who independently made the same discovery. Thomson went on to do early work on electron diffraction, now used in structural analysis. He was the son of the physicist J. J. Thomson and was knighted in 1943.

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