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  1.  26
    J. J. Thomson at the Cavendish Laboratory: The History of an Electric Charge Measurement.Nadia Robotti - 1995 - Annals of Science 52 (3):265-284.
    J. J. Thomson's discovery of the negatively charged corpuscle in 1897 is customarily regarded as the discovery of the electron. Thomson, however, did not immediately equate the charge of his corpuscle with the unitary charge, that is the ‘electron’, first proposed by Stoney in 1874. The aim of this paper is to clarify the means by which this identification was eventually made. To do this the work carried out by Thomson and his students at the Cavendish Laboratory between 1897 and (...)
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  2.  12
    Zeeman's Discovery and the Mass of the Electron.Nadia Robotti & Francesca Pastorino - 1998 - Annals of Science 55 (2):161-183.
    In an article published recently in this journal, one of us reconstructed how in 1899 J. J. Thomson, after having measured the mass-to-charge ratio of the corpuscle , achieved a measurement of its charge and consequently an estimate of its mass, obtaining in this manner ‘direct proof of the existence of particles smaller than the hydrogen atom’. In this paper, starting with an analysis of Zeeman's first measurements on the widening of spectral lines in a magnetic field, we show that (...)
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  3.  19
    Stellar, Solar and Laboratory Spectra: The History of Lockyer's Proto-Elements.Matteo Leone & Nadia Robotti - 2000 - Annals of Science 57 (3):241-266.
    Until now studies on the historical development of atomic spectroscopy have focused on three main aspects-its first applications as a method of chemical analysis, the formulation of spectral laws , and the rise of the old quantum theory. These developments of spectroscopy were based on the same assumption: the invariance of the atomic spectrum after fixing the chemical element . This paper shows that running alongside these lines of research there was another, no less important area of study based on (...)
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  4.  13
    Max Planck and the 'Constants of Nature'.Nadia Robotti & Massimiliano Badino - 2001 - Annals of Science 58 (2):137-162.
    When at the end of the 1900s Planck introduced the constant h into the black-body radiation law together with constant k, he provided no explanation of either its meaning or why it had that particular value. He simply introduced it. In reality the history of the constant was far from straightforward. Planck was confident enough to introduce it like this because he had been working on the question for over a year. In this paper we reconstruct the process that began (...)
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  5.  5
    Explaining Atomic Spectra Within Classical Physics: 1897-1913.Bruno Carazza & Nadia Robotti - 2002 - Annals of Science 59 (3):299-320.
    In this paper we analyse the approach to interpreting atomic spectra in the framework of classical physics from the discovery of the electron in 1897 to Bohr's atomic model of 1913. Taken as a whole, efforts in this direction are part of a remarkable intellectual endeavour in which the classical theoretical framework seems to have been exploited to its full potential. By demonstrating the limits and weaknesses of classical physics in solving the problem of spectral emissions, these attempts opened the (...)
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