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Dating of the age of the Earth was one of the most important developments in geology, because it ultimately led us to understand how continents moved around the globe.Dr Cherry Lewis from the University of Bristol will talk about the history of dating the age of the Earth at the BA Festival of Science in York on Thursday 13 September. In Thomson's model, the atom is composed of electrons (which Thomson still called "corpuscles," though G. Stoney had proposed that atoms of electricity be called electrons in 1894) surrounded by a soup of positive charge to balance the electrons' negative charges, like negatively charged "plums" surrounded by positively charged "pudding" . Thomson, who discovered the electron in 1897, proposed the plum pudding model of the atom in 1904 before the discovery of the atomic nucleus in order to include the electron in the atomic model.
He identified alpha, beta and gamma emissions during radioactive decay, and devised the alpha-particle scattering experiment that led to the discovery of the atomic nucleus. Webmaster has not been able to find any earlier example of the quote in print. I think a strong claim can be made that the process of scientific discovery may be regarded as a form of art.
It was not until the 1950s that the age of the Universe was finally revised and put safely beyond the age of the Earth, which had at last reached its true age of 4.56 billion years.
Physicists suddenly gained a new respect for geologists!
The best sprinters in this road of investigation are Becquerel and the Curies... Collected in 'The British Association at Winnipeg', Nature (), 81. It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.[Recalling in 1936 the discovery of the nucleus in 1909, when some alpha particles were observed instead of travelling through a very thin gold foil were seen to rebound backward, as if striking something much more massive than the particles themselves.] Should a young scientist working with me come to me after two years of such work and ask me what to do next, I would advise him to get out of science.
After two years of work, if a man does not know what to do next, he will never make a real scientist.But geologists were not as happy with the new results as, perhaps, they should have been.