A scientific theory is a tool and not a creed.

— Joseph John Thomson

The most stunning Joseph John Thomson quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

The discovery of electrical waves... has had a profound influence on civilization; it has been instrumental in providing the methods which may bring all inhabitants of the world within hearing distance of each other and has potentialities social, educational and political which we are only beginning to realize.

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I venture to give an alternative method of regarding the processes occurring in the electric field, which I have often found useful and which is, from a mathematical point of view, equivalent to Maxwell's Theory.

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The electron: may it never be of any use to anybody!

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The whole mass of any body is just the mass of ether surrounding the body which is carried along by the Faraday tubes associated with the atoms of the body. In fact, all mass is mass of the ether; all momentum, momentum of the ether; and all kinetic energy, kinetic energy of the ether, This view, it should be said, requires the density of the ether to be immensely greater than that of any known substance.

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If, in the very intense electric field in the neighbourhood of the cathode, the molecules of the gas are dissociated and are split up, not into the ordinary chemical atoms, but into these primordial atoms, which we shall for brevity call corpuscles; and if these corpuscles are charged with electricity and projected from the cathode by the electric field, they would behave exactly like the cathode rays.

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As we conquer peak after peak we see in front of us regions full of interest and beauty, but we do not see our goal, we do not see the horizon; in the distance tower still higher peaks, which will yield to those who ascend them still wider prospects, and deepen the feeling, the truth of which is emphasized by every advance in science, that 'Great are the Works of the Lord'.

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As the cathode rays carry a charge of negative electricity, are deflected by an electrostatic force as if they were negatively electrified, and are acted on by a magnetic force in just the way in which this force would act on a negatively electrified body moving along the path of these rays, I can see no escape from the conclusion that they are charges of negative electricity carried by particles of matter.

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