They thought it was photons with high energy gamma rays. Plucker had two electrodes sealed in such tubes, set up an electric potential between them, and succeeded in driving a current across.
From the balance of the gravitational and electrical forces, he could determine the charge on the droplets. In this model, the electrons are embedded in a uniform sphere of positive charge. When a stream of such radiation was passed through a magnetic field, some was slightly deflected in one direction, some was strongly deflected in the opposite direction, and some was unaffected.
If the atom would be divided into still smaller entities, then would not those entities be the true atoms?
Since the electric and magnetic field strengths were known and controlled by the experimenter, the velocity could be computed. Each of the charged particles becomes the centre round which a drop of water forms; the drops form a cloud, and thus the charged particles, however small to begin with, now become visible and can be observed.
The Photoelectric Effect It remained to be determined whether there was any connection between the electron and the atom. A modern scientist would say that the cathode rays electrons ionize the gas molecules, breaking off additional electrons from the atoms and leaving positively charged ions.
When scientists realized that an electron was virtually 1, times lighter than the smallest atom, they understood how cathode rays could penetrate metal sheets and how electric current could flow through copper wires.
Millikan knew the weight of the droplets from their rate of fall when the electric field was turned off.
He also suggested that the nuclei of elements other than hydrogen must contain electrically neutral particles with approximately the same mass as the proton. Their work culminated in the discovery by English physicist J.