The Info List - J. J. Thomson

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SIR JOSEPH JOHN THOMSON OM PRS (/ˈtɒmsən/ ; 18 December 1856 – 30 August 1940) was an English physicist and Nobel laureate in physics , credited with the discovery and identification of the electron ; and with the discovery of the first subatomic particle .

In 1897, Thomson showed that cathode rays were composed of previously unknown negatively charged particles, which he calculated must have bodies much smaller than atoms and a very large value for their charge-to-mass ratio . Thomson is also credited with finding the first evidence for isotopes of a stable (non-radioactive) element in 1913, as part of his exploration into the composition of canal rays (positive ions). His experiments to determine the nature of positively charged particles, with Francis William Aston , were the first use of mass spectrometry and led to the development of the mass spectrograph.

Thomson was awarded the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physics
for his work on the conduction of electricity in gases.


* 1 Education and personal life

* 2 Career and research

* 2.1 Overview * 2.2 Early work * 2.3 Discovery of the electron * 2.4 Isotopes and mass spectrometry

* 2.5 Experiments with cathode rays

* 2.5.1 Magnetic deflection * 2.5.2 Electrical charge * 2.5.3 Electrical deflection * 2.5.4 Measurement of mass to charge ratio * 2.5.5 Conclusions

* 2.6 Other work

* 2.7 Awards and honours

* 2.7.1 Posthumous honours

* 3 References * 4 Bibliography * 5 External links


Joseph John Thomson was born 18 December 1856 in Cheetham Hill , Manchester
, Lancashire
, England. His mother, Emma Swindells, came from a local textile family. His father, Joseph James Thomson, ran an antiquarian bookshop founded by a great-grandfather. He had a brother two years younger than he was, Frederick Vernon Thomson. J. J. Thomson was a devout Anglican

His early education was in small private schools where he demonstrated outstanding talent and interest in science. In 1870 he was admitted to Owens College in Manchester
(now University of Manchester
) at the unusually young age of 14. His parents planned to enroll him as an apprentice engineer to Sharp-Stewart his ashes rest in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
, near the graves of Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
and his former student, Ernest Rutherford .

One of Thomson's greatest contributions to modern science was in his role as a highly gifted teacher. One of his students was Ernest Rutherford , who later succeeded him as Cavendish Professor of Physics . In addition to Thomson himself, eight of his research assistants ( Francis William Aston , Charles Glover Barkla , Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr
, Max Born , William Henry Bragg
William Henry Bragg
, Owen Willans Richardson , Ernest Rutherford , Charles Thomson Rees Wilson
Charles Thomson Rees Wilson
) and his son won Nobel Prizes in physics or chemistry. His son won the Nobel Prize in 1937 for proving the wave-like properties of electrons.


Thomson's prize-winning master's work, Treatise on the motion of vortex rings, shows his early interest in atomic structure. In it, Thomson mathematically described the motions of William Thomson 's vortex theory of atoms.

Thomson published a number of papers addressing both mathematical and experimental issues of electromagnetism. He examined the electromagnetic theory of light of James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell
, introduced the concept of electromagnetic mass of a charged particle , and demonstrated that a moving charged body would apparently increase in mass.

Much of his work in mathematical modelling of chemical processes can be thought of as early computational chemistry . In further work, published in book form as Applications of dynamics to physics and chemistry (1888), Thomson addressed the transformation of energy in mathematical and theoretical terms, suggesting that all energy might be kinetic. His next book, Notes on recent researches in electricity and magnetism (1893), built upon Maxwell's Treatise upon electricity and magnetism, and was sometimes referred to as "the third volume of Maxwell". In it, Thomson emphasized physical methods and experimentation and included extensive figures and diagrams of apparatus, including a number for the passage of electricity through gases. His third book, Elements of the mathematical theory of electricity and magnetism (1895) was a readable introduction to a wide variety of subjects, and achieved considerable popularity as a textbook.

A series of four lectures, given by Thomson on a visit to Princeton University in 1896, were subsequently published as Discharge of electricity through gases (1897). Thomson also presented a series of six lectures at Yale University in 1904.


Several scientists, such as William Prout
William Prout
and Norman Lockyer , had suggested that atoms were built up from a more fundamental unit, but they envisioned this unit to be the size of the smallest atom, hydrogen. Thomson in 1897 was the first to suggest that one of the fundamental units was more than 1,000 times smaller than an atom, suggesting the subatomic particle now known as the electron. Thomson discovered this through his explorations on the properties of cathode rays. Thomson made his suggestion on 30 April 1897 following his discovery that cathode rays (at the time known as Lenard rays ) could travel much further through air than expected for an atom-sized particle. He estimated the mass of cathode rays by measuring the heat generated when the rays hit a thermal junction and comparing this with the magnetic deflection of the rays. His experiments suggested not only that cathode rays were over 1,000 times lighter than the hydrogen atom, but also that their mass was the same in whichever type of atom they came from. He concluded that the rays were composed of very light, negatively charged particles which were a universal building block of atoms. He called the particles "corpuscles", but later scientists preferred the name electron which had been suggested by George Johnstone Stoney in 1891, prior to Thomson's actual discovery.

In April 1897, Thomson had only early indications that the cathode rays could be deflected electrically (previous investigators such as Heinrich Hertz had thought they could not be). A month after Thomson's announcement of the corpuscle, he found that he could reliably deflect the rays by an electric field if he evacuated the discharge tube to a very low pressure. By comparing the deflection of a beam of cathode rays by electric and magnetic fields he obtained more robust measurements of the mass to charge ratio that confirmed his previous estimates. This became the classic means of measuring the charge and mass of the electron.

Thomson believed that the corpuscles emerged from the atoms of the trace gas inside his cathode ray tubes . He thus concluded that atoms were divisible, and that the corpuscles were their building blocks. In 1904 Thomson suggested a model of the atom, hypothesizing that it was a sphere of positive matter within which electrostatic forces determined the positioning of the corpuscles. To explain the overall neutral charge of the atom, he proposed that the corpuscles were distributed in a uniform sea of positive charge. In this "plum pudding" model the electrons were seen as embedded in the positive charge like plums in a plum pudding (although in Thomson's model they were not stationary, but orbiting rapidly).


In the bottom right corner of this photographic plate are markings for the two isotopes of neon: neon-20 and neon-22.

In 1912, as part of his exploration into the composition of the streams of positively charged particles then known as canal rays , Thomson and his research assistant F. W. Aston channelled a stream of neon ions through a magnetic and an electric field and measured its deflection by placing a photographic plate in its path. They observed two patches of light on the photographic plate (see image on right), which suggested two different parabolas of deflection, and concluded that neon is composed of atoms of two different atomic masses (neon-20 and neon-22), that is to say of two isotopes . This was the first evidence for isotopes of a stable element; Frederick Soddy had previously proposed the existence of isotopes to explain the decay of certain radioactive elements.

J.J. Thomson's separation of neon isotopes by their mass was the first example of mass spectrometry , which was subsequently improved and developed into a general method by F. W. Aston and by A. J. Dempster .


Earlier, physicists debated whether cathode rays were immaterial like light ("some process in the aether ") or were "in fact wholly material, and ... mark the paths of particles of matter charged with negative electricity", quoting Thomson. The aetherial hypothesis was vague, but the particle hypothesis was definite enough for Thomson to test.

Magnetic Deflection

Thomson first investigated the magnetic deflection of cathode rays. Cathode rays were produced in the side tube on the left of the apparatus and passed through the anode into the main bell jar , where they were deflected by a magnet. Thomson detected their path by the fluorescence on a squared screen in the jar. He found that whatever the material of the anode and the gas in the jar, the deflection of the rays was the same, suggesting that the rays were of the same form whatever their origin.

Electrical Charge

The cathode ray tube by which J.J. Thomson demonstrated that cathode rays could be deflected by a magnetic field, and that their negative charge was not a separate phenomenon.

While supporters of the aetherial theory accepted the possibility that negatively charged particles are produced in Crookes tubes , they believed that they are a mere by-product and that the cathode rays themselves are immaterial. Thomson set out to investigate whether or not he could actually separate the charge from the rays.

Thomson constructed a Crookes tube
Crookes tube
with an electrometer set to one side, out of the direct path of the cathode rays. Thomson could trace the path of the ray by observing the phosphorescent patch it created where it hit the surface of the tube. Thomson observed that the electrometer registered a charge only when he deflected the cathode ray to it with a magnet. He concluded that the negative charge and the rays were one and the same.

Electrical Deflection

Thomson's illustration of the Crookes tube
Crookes tube
by which he observed the deflection of cathode rays by an electric field (and later measured their mass to charge ratio). Cathode rays were emitted from the cathode C, passed through slits A (the anode) and B (grounded ), then through the electric field generated between plates D and E, finally impacting the surface at the far end. The cathode ray (blue line) was deflected by the electric field (yellow).

In May–June 1897, Thomson investigated whether or not the rays could be deflected by an electric field. Previous experimenters had failed to observe this, but Thomson believed their experiments were flawed because their tubes contained too much gas.

Thomson constructed a Crookes tube
Crookes tube
with a better vacuum. At the start of the tube was the cathode from which the rays projected. The rays were sharpened to a beam by two metal slits – the first of these slits doubled as the anode, the second was connected to the earth. The beam then passed between two parallel aluminium plates, which produced an electric field between them when they were connected to a battery. The end of the tube was a large sphere where the beam would impact on the glass, created a glowing patch. Thomson pasted a scale to the surface of this sphere to measure the deflection of the beam. Note that any electron beam would collide with some residual gas atoms within the Crookes tube, thereby ionizing them and producing electrons and ions in the tube (space charge ); in previous experiments this space charge electrically screened the externally applied electric field. However, in Thomson's Crookes tube
Crookes tube
the density of residual atoms was so low that the space charge from the electrons and ions was insufficient to electrically screen the externally applied electric field, which permitted Thomson to successfully observe electrical deflection.

When the upper plate was connected to the negative pole of the battery and the lower plate to the positive pole, the glowing patch moved downwards, and when the polarity was reversed, the patch moved upwards.

Measurement Of Mass To Charge Ratio

In his classic experiment, Thomson measured the mass-to-charge ratio of the cathode rays by measuring how much they were deflected by a magnetic field and comparing this with the electric deflection. He used the same apparatus as in his previous experiment, but placed the discharge tube between the poles of a large electromagnet. He found that the mass to charge ratio was over a thousand times lower than that of a hydrogen ion (H+), suggesting either that the particles were very light and/or very highly charged. Significantly, the rays from every cathode yielded the same mass-to-charge ratio. This is in contrast to anode rays (now known to arise from positive ions emitted by the anode), where the mass-to-charge ratio varies from anode-to-anode. Thomson himself remained critical of what his work established, in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech referring to "corpuscles" rather than "electrons".

Thomson's calculations can be summarised as follows (notice that we reproduce here Thomson's original notations, using F instead of E for the electric field and H instead of B for the magnetic field):

The electric deflection is given by Θ = Fel/mv2 where Θ is the angular electric deflection, F is applied electric intensity, e is the charge of the cathode ray particles, l is the length of the electric plates, m is the mass of the cathode ray particles and v is the velocity of the cathode ray particles.

The magnetic deflection is given by φ = Hel/mv where φ is the angular magnetic deflection and H is the applied magnetic field intensity.

The magnetic field was varied until the magnetic and electric deflections were the same, when Θ = φ and Fel/mv2= Hel/mv. This can be simplified to give m/e = H2l/FΘ. The electric deflection was measured separately to give Θ and H, F and l were known, so m/e could be calculated.


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. —  J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson

As to the source of these particles, Thomson believed they emerged from the molecules of gas in the vicinity of the cathode.

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. —  J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson

Thomson imagined the atom as being made up of these corpuscles orbiting in a sea of positive charge; this was his plum pudding model . This model was later proved incorrect when his student Ernest Rutherford showed that the positive charge is concentrated in the nucleus of the atom.


In 1905, Thomson discovered the natural radioactivity of potassium .

In 1906, Thomson demonstrated that hydrogen had only a single electron per atom. Previous theories allowed various numbers of electrons.


Plaque commemorating J. J. Thomson's discovery of the electron outside the old Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge

Thomson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society
(FRS) and appointed to the Cavendish Professorship of Experimental Physics
at the Cavendish Laboratory , University of Cambridge
in 1884. Thomson won numerous awards and honours during his career including:

* Adams Prize (1882) * Royal Medal (1894) * Hughes Medal
Hughes Medal
(1902) * Hodgkins Medal (1902) * Nobel Prize for Physics
(1906) * Elliott Cresson Medal (1910) * Copley Medal (1914) * Franklin Medal (1922)

Thomson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society
Fellow of the Royal Society
on 12 June 1884 and served as President of the Royal Society
President of the Royal Society
from 1915 to 1920.

Posthumous Honours

In 1991, the thomson (symbol: Th) was proposed as a unit to measure mass-to-charge ratio in mass spectrometry in his honour.

J J Thomson Avenue, on the University of Cambridge
campus, is named after Thomson.

In November 1927, J.J. Thomson opened the Thomson building, named in his honour, in the Leys School , Cambridge.


* ^ A B C Rayleigh (1941). "Joseph John Thomson. 1856-1940". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society
Royal Society
. London: Royal Society . 3 (10): 586–609. doi :10.1098/rsbm.1941.0024 . * ^ A B C D E F G "Joseph John "J. J." Thomson". Chemical Heritage Foundation . Retrieved 18 November 2013. * ^ A B C D "J.J. Thomson - Biographical". The Nobel Prize in Physics
1906. The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 11 February 2015. * ^ A B C D Davis & Falconer, J.J. Thomson and the Discovery of the Electron * ^ Peter J. Bowler, Reconciling Science and Religion: The Debate in Early-Twentieth-Century Britain (2014). University of Chicago Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780226068596 . "Both Lord Rayleigh and J. J. Thomson were Anglicans." * ^ Seeger, Raymond. 1986. "J. J. Thomson, Anglican," in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, 38 (June 1986): 131-132. The Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. ""As a Professor, J.J. Thomson did attend the Sunday evening college chapel service, and as Master, the morning service. He was a regular communicant in the Anglican
Church. In addition, he showed an active interest in the Trinity Mission at Camberwell. With respect to his private devotional life, J.J. Thomson would invariably practice kneeling for daily prayer, and read his Bible before retiring each night. He truly was a practicing Christian!" ( Raymond Seeger 1986, 132)." * ^ Richardson, Owen. 1970. "Joseph J. Thomson," in The Dictionary of National Biography, 1931-1940. L. G. Wickham Legg - editor. Oxford University Press . * ^ Grayson, Mike. "The Early Life of J.J. Thomson: Computational Chemistry and Gas Discharge Experiments". Profiles in Chemistry. Chemical Heritage Foundation . Retrieved 11 February 2015. * ^ A B "Thomson, Joseph John (THN876JJ)". A Cambridge
Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. * ^ The Victoria University Calendar for the Session 1881-2. 1882. p. 184. Retrieved 11 February 2015. * ^ Seeger, Raymond. "The American Science Affiliation". * ^ A B C D E F Kim, Dong-Won (2002). Leadership and creativity : a history of the Cavendish Laboratory, 1871 - 1919. Dordrecht: Kluwer Acad. Publ. ISBN 9781402004759 . Retrieved 11 February 2015. * ^ Westminster Abbey. "Sir Joseph John Thomson". * ^ Mackenzie, A. Stanley (1896). "Review: Elements of the Mathematical Theory of Electricity and Magnetism by J. J. Thomson" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 2 (10): 329–333. doi :10.1090/s0002-9904-1896-00357-8 . * ^ A B J.J. Thomson (1897) "Cathode Rays", The Electrician 39, 104 * ^ Falconer (2001) "Corpuscles to electrons" * ^ A B C D E Thomson, J. J. (7 August 1897). "Cathode Rays". Philosophical Magazine. 5. 44: 293. doi :10.1080/14786449708621070 . Retrieved 4 August 2014. * ^ Mellor, Joseph William (1917), Modern Inorganic Chemistry, Longmans, Green and Company, p. 868, According to J. J. Thomson's hypothesis, atoms are built of systems of rotating rings of electrons.

* ^ Dahl (1997) , p. 324: "Thomson\'s model, then, consisted of a uniformly charged sphere of positive electricity (the pudding), with discrete corpuscles (the plums) rotating about the center in circular orbits, whose total charge was equal and opposite to the positive charge." * ^ J.J. Thomson (1912) "Further experiments on positive rays," Philosophical Magazine, series 6, 24 (140): 209–253. * ^ J.J. Thomson (1913) "Rays of positive electricity," Proceedings of the Royal Society
Royal Society
A, 89: 1–20. * ^ Thomson (8 February 1897)'On the cathode rays', Proceedings of the Cambridge
Philosophical Society, 9, 243 * ^ Cathode rays Philosophical Magazine, 44, 293 (1897) * ^ Thomson, J. J. (1905). "On the emission of negative corpuscles by the alkali metals". Philosophical Magazine. Series 6. 10 (59): 584–590. doi :10.1080/14786440509463405 . * ^ Hellemans, Alexander; Bunch, Bryan (1988). The Timetables of Science. Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
. p. 411. ISBN 0671621300 . * ^ Thomson, J. J. (June 1906). "On the Number of Corpuscles in an Atom". Philosophical Magazine. 11: 769–781. doi :10.1080/14786440609463496 . Archived from the original on 19 December 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2008. * ^ Thomson, Sir George Paget. Sir J.J. Thomson, British Physicist. Encyclopædia Brittanica. Retrieved 11 February 2015. * ^ Cooks, R. G.; A. L. Rockwood (1991). "The 'Thomson'. A suggested unit for mass spectroscopists". Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry . 5 (2): 93. * ^ " Cambridge
is streets ahead". 2002-07-18. Retrieved 2014-07-31. * ^ "Opening of the New Science Building: Thomson". 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2015-01-10.


* Thomson, George Paget. (1964) J.J. Thomson: Discoverer of the Electron. Great Britain: Thomas Nelson with Application of the Results to the Theory of Atomic Structure," Philosophical Magazine Series 6, Volume 7, Number 39, pp. 237–265. This paper presents the classical "plum pudding model " from which the Thomson Problem is posed. * The Master of Trinity at Trinity College, Cambridge
* J.J. Thomson, The Electron
in Chemistry: Being Five Lectures Delivered at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia (1923). * Davis, Eward Arthur line-height:1.2em">Library resources about J. J. THOMSON -------------------------

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J. J. Thomson
at Wikisource
* Quotations related to J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson
at Wikiquote * The Discovery of the Electron * The Nobel Prize in Physics
1906 * Annotated bibliography for Joseph J. Thomson from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues * Essay on Thomson life and religious views * The Cathode Ray Tube site * Nobel Prize acceptance lecture (1906) * Thomson\'s discovery of the isotopes of Neon * Photos of some of Thomson\'s remaining apparatus at the Cavendish Laboratory Museum * Works by J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson
at Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg
* Works by or about J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson
at Internet Archive
Internet Archive


Preceded by Henry Montagu Butler
Henry Montagu Butler
MASTER OF TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE 1918–1940 Succeeded by George Macaulay Trevelyan

* v * t * e

Copley Medallists of 1901–50

* Josiah Willard Gibbs
Josiah Willard Gibbs
(1901) * Joseph Lister (1902) * Eduard Suess (1903) * William Crookes (1904) * Dmitri Mendeleev
Dmitri Mendeleev
(1905) * Élie Metchnikoff (1906) * Albert A. Michelson (1907) * Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
(1908) * George William Hill
George William Hill
(1909) * Francis Galton (1910) * George Darwin (1911) * Felix Klein
Felix Klein
(1912) * Ray Lankester (1913) * J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson
(1914) * Ivan Pavlov (1915) * James Dewar
James Dewar
(1916) * Pierre Paul Émile Roux (1917) * Hendrik Lorentz (1918) * William Bayliss (1919) * Horace Tabberer Brown (1920) * Joseph Larmor (1921) * Ernest Rutherford (1922) * Horace Lamb (1923) * Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer (1924) * Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
(1925) * Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1926) * Charles Scott Sherrington (1927) * Charles Algernon Parsons (1928) * Max Planck
Max Planck
(1929) * William Henry Bragg
William Henry Bragg
(1930) * Arthur Schuster (1931) * George Ellery Hale (1932) * Theobald Smith (1933) * John Scott Haldane (1934) * Charles Thomson Rees Wilson
Charles Thomson Rees Wilson
(1935) * Arthur Evans (1936) * Henry Hallett Dale (1937) * Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr
(1938) * Thomas Hunt Morgan
Thomas Hunt Morgan
(1939) * Paul Langevin (1940) * Thomas Lewis (1941) * Robert Robinson (1942) * Joseph Barcroft (1943) * Geoffrey Ingram Taylor (1944) * Oswald Avery (1945) * Edgar Douglas Adrian (1946) * G. H. Hardy (1947) * Archibald Hill (1948) * George de Hevesy
George de Hevesy
(1949) * James Chadwick
James Chadwick

* v * t * e

Laureates of the Nobel Prize in Physics


* 1901 Röntgen * 1902 Lorentz / Zeeman * 1903 Becquerel / P. Curie / M. Curie * 1904 Rayleigh * 1905 Lenard * 1906 J. J. Thomson * 1907 Michelson * 1908 Lippmann * 1909 Marconi / Braun * 1910 Van der Waals * 1911 Wien * 1912 Dalén * 1913 Kamerlingh Onnes * 1914 Laue * 1915 W. L. Bragg / W. H. Bragg * 1916 * 1917 Barkla * 1918 Planck * 1919 Stark * 1920 Guillaume * 1921 Einstein * 1922 N. Bohr * 1923 Millikan * 1924 M. Siegbahn * 1925 Franck / Hertz


* 1926 Perrin * 1927 Compton / C. Wilson * 1928 O. Richardson * 1929 De Broglie * 1930 Raman * 1931 * 1932 Heisenberg * 1933 Schrödinger / Dirac * 1934 * 1935 Chadwick * 1936 Hess / C. D. Anderson * 1937 Davisson / G. P. Thomson * 1938 Fermi * 1939 Lawrence * 1940 * 1941 * 1942 * 1943 Stern * 1944 Rabi * 1945 Pauli * 1946 Bridgman * 1947 Appleton * 1948 Blackett * 1949 Yukawa * 1950 Powell


* 1951 Cockcroft / Walton * 1952 Bloch / Purcell * 1953 Zernike * 1954 Born / Bothe * 1955 Lamb / Kusch * 1956 Shockley / Bardeen / Brattain * 1957 C. N. Yang / T. D. Lee * 1958 Cherenkov / Frank / Tamm * 1959 Segrè / Chamberlain * 1960 Glaser * 1961 Hofstadter / Mössbauer * 1962 Landau * 1963 Wigner / Goeppert-Mayer / Jensen * 1964 Townes / Basov / Prokhorov * 1965 Tomonaga / Schwinger / Feynman * 1966 Kastler * 1967 Bethe * 1968 Alvarez * 1969 Gell-Mann * 1970 Alfvén / Néel * 1971 Gabor * 1972 Bardeen / Cooper / Schrieffer * 1973 Esaki / Giaever / Josephson * 1974 Ryle / Hewish * 1975 A. Bohr / Mottelson / Rainwater


* 1976 Richter / Ting * 1977 P. W. Anderson / Mott / Van Vleck * 1978 Kapitsa / Penzias / R. Wilson * 1979 Glashow / Salam / Weinberg * 1980 Cronin / Fitch * 1981 Bloembergen / Schawlow / K. Siegbahn * 1982 K. Wilson * 1983 Chandrasekhar / Fowler * 1984 Rubbia / Van der Meer * 1985 von Klitzing * 1986 Ruska / Binnig / Rohrer * 1987 Bednorz / Müller * 1988 Lederman / Schwartz / Steinberger * 1989 Ramsey / Dehmelt / Paul * 1990 Friedman / Kendall / R. Taylor * 1991 de Gennes * 1992 Charpak * 1993 Hulse / J. Taylor * 1994 Brockhouse / Shull * 1995 Perl / Reines * 1996 D. Lee / Osheroff / R. Richardson * 1997 Chu / Cohen-Tannoudji / Phillips * 1998 Laughlin / Störmer / Tsui * 1999 \'t Hooft / Veltman * 2000 Alferov / Kroemer / Kilby

2001– present

* 2001 Cornell / Ketterle / Wieman * 2002 Davis / Koshiba / Giacconi * 2003 Abrikosov / Ginzburg / Leggett * 2004 Gross / Politzer / Wilczek * 2005 Glauber / Hall / Hänsch * 2006 Mather / Smoot * 2007 Fert / Grünberg * 2008 Nambu / Kobayashi / Maskawa * 2009 Kao / Boyle / Smith * 2010 Geim / Novoselov * 2011 Perlmutter / Riess / Schmidt * 2012 Wineland / Haroche * 2013 Englert / Higgs * 2014 Akasaki / Amano / Nakamura * 2015 Kajita / McDonald * 2016 Thouless / Haldane / Kosterlitz

* v * t * e

Presidents of the Royal Society
Royal Society


* Viscount Brouncker (1662) * Joseph Williamson (1677) * Christopher Wren (1680) * John Hoskyns (1682) * Cyril Wyche (1683) * Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys
(1684) * Earl of Carbery (1686) * Earl of Pembroke (1689) * Robert Southwell (1690) * Charles Montagu (1695) * Lord Somers (1698)


* Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
(1703) * Hans Sloane
Hans Sloane
(1727) * Martin Folkes
Martin Folkes
(1741) * Earl of Macclesfield (1752) * Earl of Morton (1764) * James Burrow (1768) * James West (1768) * James Burrow (1772) * John Pringle
John Pringle
(1772) * Joseph Banks (1778)


* William Hyde Wollaston (1820) * Humphry Davy
Humphry Davy
(1820) * Davies Gilbert (1827) * Duke of Sussex (1830) * Marquess of Northampton (1838) * Earl of Rosse (1848) * Lord Wrottesley (1854) * Benjamin Collins Brodie (1858) * Edward Sabine (1861) * George Biddell Airy
George Biddell Airy
(1871) * Joseph Dalton Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
(1873) * William Spottiswoode (1878) * Thomas Henry Huxley (1883) * George Gabriel Stokes (1885) * William Thomson (1890) * Joseph Lister (1895)


* William Huggins (1900) * Lord Rayleigh (1905) * Archibald Geikie (1908) * William Crookes (1913) * J. J. Thomson
J. J. Thomson
(1915) * Charles Scott Sherrington (1920) * Ernest Rutherford (1925) * Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1930) * William Henry Bragg
William Henry Bragg
(1935) * Henry Hallett Dale (1940) * Robert Robinson (1945) * Edgar Adrian (1950) * Cyril Norman Hinshelwood
Cyril Norman Hinshelwood
(1955) * Howard Florey (1960) * Patrick Blackett (1965) * Alan Lloyd Hodgkin (1970) * Lord Todd (1975) * Andrew Huxley (1980) * George Porter (1985) * Sir Michael Atiyah (1990) * Sir Aaron Klug (1995)


* Robert May (2000) * Martin Rees (2005) * Sir Paul Nurse
Paul Nurse
(2010) * Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (2015)

* v * t * e

Scientists whose names are used as non SI units

* Anders Jonas Ångström * Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell
* Marie Curie
Marie Curie
* Pierre Curie
Pierre Curie
* John Dalton
John Dalton
* Peter Debye * Loránd Eötvös * Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit * Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei
* Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss
Carl Friedrich Gauss
* William Gilbert * Heinrich Kayser * Johann Heinrich Lambert * Samuel Pierpont Langley
Samuel Pierpont Langley
* Heinrich Mache * James Clerk Maxwell
James Clerk Maxwell
* John Napier * Hans Christian Ørsted
Hans Christian Ørsted
* Jean Léonard Marie Poiseuille * William John Macquorn Rankine * René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur
René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur
* Wilhelm Röntgen
Wilhelm Röntgen
* Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet * John Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh * Joseph John Thomson * Evangelista Torricelli
Evangelista Torricelli

* Scientists whose names are used as SI units * Scientists whose names are used in chemical element names * Scientists whose names are used in physical constants

* v * t * e

Scientists whose names are used in physical constants


* Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
(gravitational constant ) * Charles-Augustin de Coulomb (Coulomb\'s constant ) * Amedeo Avogadro ( Avogadro constant ) * Michael Faraday ( Faraday constant ) * Johann Josef Loschmidt
Johann Josef Loschmidt
* Johann Jakob Balmer * Joseph Stefan ( Stefan–Boltzmann constant ) * Ludwig Boltzmann
Ludwig Boltzmann
( Boltzmann constant , Stefan–Boltzmann constant ) * Johannes Rydberg ( Rydberg constant ) * Joseph John Thomson * Max Planck
Max Planck
( Planck constant , reduced Planck constant , Planck length , Planck time ) * Wilhelm Wien
Wilhelm Wien
* Otto Sackur * Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr
( Bohr radius ) * Edwin Hubble
Edwin Hubble
( Hubble constant
Hubble constant
) * Hugo Tetrode * Douglas Hartree * Brian David Josephson * Klaus von Klitzing



* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 7472229 * LCCN : n50013536 * ISNI : 0000 0001 2119 4340 * GND : 118802089 * SELIBR : 237025 * SUDOC : 032937369 * BNF : cb12386792g (data) * MGP : 50701 * NLA : 35548544 * NDL : 00621558 * NKC : mzk2010585094 * ICCU : ITICCUCUBV153066 * BNE : XX1779238 * IATH