Cathode Rays: Wave or particles?
  • After Cathode Rays was discovered in 1855, many experiments were done with them in order to understand their nature.
  • These experiments are covered in detail here.
  • Observations from the experiments confused some scientists as the rays showed properties of both the wave and particles.
  • These observations were as follows:
Experiment Wave Properties Particle Properties
Paddle Wheel (none) Had momentum and thus mass
Magnet (none) Was negatively charged (Waves could not be charged)
Maltese Cross Propagated in straight lines (none)
Electric Plates Hertz's erroneous experiment displayed that the rays weren't affected by charge J.J. Thomson's experiment showed that rays were actually affected by an electric field
  • From this, we can see that it is clearly a particle.
  • But what type of particle was it? Find out here