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Sir William Crookes. Illustration of the British physicist and chemist Sir William Crookes (1832-1919). He is holding his invention, the Crookes tube, a forerunner to the cathode ray tube. Crookes used vacuum tubes to investigate cathode rays in 1878. He discovered that the rays (which were made of electrons) made the sides of the glass tube fluoresce. He also showed that the rays travelled in straight lines and that they could be deflected by a magnetic field. Crookes invented the spinthariscope which measured alpha radiation using scintillation (light flashes) caused by these charged particles. Illustration taken from the magazine Vanity Fair in the 1890s.
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