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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index T > Sir J.J. Thomson Quotes

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Sir J.J. Thomson
(18 Dec 1856 - 30 Aug 1940)

English physicist who investigated what were known as cathode rays, and discovered the electron (1897) and received the 1906 Nobel Prize for Physics.


Science Quotes by Sir J.J. Thomson (2 quotes)

His work was so great that it cannot be compassed in a few words. His death is one of the greatest losses ever to occur to British science.
Describing Ernest Rutherford upon his death at age 66. Thomson, then 80 years old, was once his teacher.
— Sir J.J. Thomson
Quoted in Time Magazine (1 Nov 1937).
Science quotes on:  |  Sir Ernest Rutherford (30)

This example illustrates the differences in the effects which may be produced by research in pure or applied science. A research on the lines of applied science would doubtless have led to improvement and development of the older methods—the research in pure science has given us an entirely new and much more powerful method. In fact, research in applied science leads to reforms, research in pure science leads to revolutions, and revolutions, whether political or industrial, are exceedingly profitable things if you are on the winning side.
— Sir J.J. Thomson
In Lord Rayleigh, The Life of Sir J. J. Thomson (1943), 199
Science quotes on:  |  Applied Science (16)  |  Development (122)  |  Difference (135)  |  Effect (72)  |  Improvement (36)  |  Method (73)  |  Profit (14)  |  Pure Science (7)  |  Reform (6)  |  Research (360)  |  Revolution (34)  |  Win (8)



Quotes by others about Sir J.J. Thomson (2)

Ohm found that the results could be summed up in such a simple law that he who runs may read it, and a schoolboy now can predict what a Faraday then could only guess at roughly. By Ohm's discovery a large part of the domain of electricity became annexed by Coulomb's discovery of the law of inverse squares, and completely annexed by Green's investigations. Poisson attacked the difficult problem of induced magnetisation, and his results, though differently expressed, are still the theory, as a most important first approximation. Ampere brought a multitude of phenomena into theory by his investigations of the mechanical forces between conductors supporting currents and magnets. Then there were the remarkable researches of Faraday, the prince of experimentalists, on electrostatics and electrodynamics and the induction of currents. These were rather long in being brought from the crude experimental state to a compact system, expressing the real essence. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Faraday was not a mathematician. It can scarely be doubted that had he been one, he would have anticipated much later work. He would, for instance, knowing Ampere's theory, by his own results have readily been led to Neumann’s theory, and the connected work of Helmholtz and Thomson. But it is perhaps too much to expect a man to be both the prince of experimentalists and a competent mathematician.
From article 'Electro-magnetic Theory II', in The Electrician (16 Jan 1891), 26, No. 661, 331.
Science quotes on:  |  Andrι-Marie Ampθre (9)  |  Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (2)  |  Electromagnetism (14)  |  Experimentalist (7)  |  Michael Faraday (58)  |  Hermann von Helmholtz (17)  |  Law (273)  |  Mathematician (110)  |  Georg Simon Ohm (2)  |  Simιon-Denis Poisson (2)

I am now convinced that we have recently become possessed of experimental evidence of the discrete or grained nature of matter, which the atomic hypothesis sought in vain for hundreds and thousands of years. The isolation and counting of gaseous ions, on the one hand, which have crowned with success the long and brilliant researches of J.J. Thomson, and, on the other, agreement of the Brownian movement with the requirements of the kinetic hypothesis, established by many investigators and most conclusively by J. Perrin, justify the most cautious scientist in now speaking of the experimental proof of the atomic nature of matter, The atomic hypothesis is thus raised to the position of a scientifically well-founded theory, and can claim a place in a text-book intended for use as an introduction to the present state of our knowledge of General Chemistry.
In Grundriss der allgemeinen Chemie (4th ed., 1909), Preface, as cited by Erwin N. Hiebert and Hans-Gunther Korber in article on Ostwald in Charles Coulston Gillespie (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography Supplement 1, Vol 15-16, 464.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (164)  |  Brilliant (4)  |  Robert Brown (2)  |  Caution (8)  |  Chemistry (143)  |  Claim (24)  |  Conviction (26)  |  Counting (4)  |  Crown (11)  |  Discrete (3)  |  Evidence (83)  |  Experiment (369)  |  Gas (30)  |  Hypothesis (150)  |  Introduction (15)  |  Ion (5)  |  Isolation (16)  |  Long (17)  |  Matter (135)  |  Possession (24)  |  Proof (136)  |  Recent (14)  |  Research (360)  |  Scientist (237)  |  Seeking (17)  |  Speaking (30)  |  Success (114)  |  Theory (353)  |  Vain (15)  |  Year (69)


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