19th Century Crookes Tube

19th Century Crookes Tube

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Credit: GREGORY DAVIES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 19th Century Crookes Tube. Invented by William Crookes (1832-1919) in the late 19th century this apparatus was used to investigate the path taken by electrons, or cathode rays as they were known. The electrons are emitted from a central element towards the glass. As the electrons collide with the glass they fluoresce. This apparatus was able to show that electrons travel in straight lines. The overall glow of the apparatus is caused by the excitation of the remaining gas molecules in the tube.

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