J. J. Thomson, British physicist

J. J. Thomson, British physicist

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Credit: GARY BROWN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Joseph John Thomson (1856-1940), British physicist and discoverer of the electron, commonly known as J. J. Thomson. He is shown holding a plum pudding, representing his 1904 model of the atom where electrons were the raisins in the atom's pudding. This theory was replaced in 1911 by the Rutherford model following the 1909 experiment that proved the existence of the atomic nucleus. Thomson worked at Cambridge University on cathode rays, where his experiments had by 1897 uncovered the nature of the electron, a particle much smaller than an atom. For this work he was awarded the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physics. He was knighted in 1908.

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