THOMSON, Joseph John v2

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THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPTS Report on correspondence and papers, including biographical material, of SIR JOSEPH JOHN THOMSON, OM, FRS(1856-1940) physicist 1876-1970 deposited in the Library, Trinity College, Cambridge (CSAC 74/4/80) Reproduced for the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre No 80/25 All rights reserved THE ROYAL COMMISSION ON HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPTS Quality House, Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London WC2A HP by 1980 CSAC 74/4/80 CONTEMPORARY SCIENTIFIC ARCHIVES CENTRE British National Committee for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology under the guidance of the Royal Socicty’s Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of SIR JOSEPH JOHN THOMSON, OM, FRS (1856 - 1940) Julia Latham Jackson Compiled by: Jeannine Alton Deposited in the Library, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1980 J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 LIST OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION Items SECTION A PERSONAL MATERIAL AND CORRESPONDENCE A.1 - A.13 SECTION B NOTES AND DRAFTS FOR PUBLICATIONS Bye. 7 Bee SECTION C SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE SECTION D ACCOUNTS AND BIOGRAPHIES OF THOMSON SECTION E PUBLISHED WORKS INDEX OF CORRESPONDENTS J. 3. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 INTRODUCTION J.J. Thomson was one of the foremost physicists of his day. His name is principally remembered for the discovery of the electron and for his work on gaseous discharges. Thomson was born in Manchester and educated at Owen's College (later the University of Manchester); in 1875 at the age of nineteen he went with a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained for the rest of his life. Physics, and his guidance of the Cavendish Laboratory for a generation (until 1919) established its international reputation as a research school. He was Master of Trinity from 1918 until his death in 1940. In 1894 he succeeded Rayleigh as Cavendish Professor of Experimental 'n 1906 Thomson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on the electron; elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1884, he served as its President 1915-1920. He was knighted in 1908 and received the Order of Merit in 1912. Many accounts of his life and work have been written, several by his son, Sir George Thomson (see Section D). Very little survives of drafts and correspondence relating to Thomson's scientific work in Sections B and C; other specimens of Thomson's notebooks, lecture notes and experimental material are held at the University Library, Cambridge (see Various accounts of the discovery of the electron A.3 for a note of this material). and of electron physics will be found in the collection of the papers of Sir George Thomson (CSAC no. 75/5/80) in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 SECTION A PERSONAL MATERIAL AND CORRESPONDENCE (A. 1-A.13) A.1 Certificate of election as Corresponding Member, Academia Borussica, 1910. List of Nobel Prize winners, 1901-06. Sylvanus Thompson Medal of the R&éntgen Society, 1927. Photocopy of handlist of the notebooks of J.J. Thomson held in the University Library, Cambridge. This was sent to G.P. Thomson by P. Spitzer, an American scholar working on a biography of J.J. Thomson, and bears various notes by him. Also included is a note by Spitzer (1970) listing several publications by J.J. Thomson omitted from the Bibliography by Lord Rayleigh. Personal correspondence. In alphabetical order. Burton, E.F. Hobson, E.W. Lamb, H. M'Taggart, M.E. Parsons, C.A. Rawlinson, J.F.P. Soulsby, W. 1930 n.d, (1925) Moanington, W.T. 7 1932 Nomination of G.P. Thomson for Royal Society Drawing of Thomson for National Portrait Gallery J.J. Thomson's wife, who was always known as 'Vie'). Unidentified or first name signatures. card 1923, addressed to 'Dear Daddy', signed 'Vie R.B.' (perhaps Violet, twin sister of Rose Paget, Congratulations on election of G.P. Thomson, ‘your fine lad', to Royal Society Ward, J.A. 1906 re Hon. Degree at Cambridge Threlfall, R. Includes J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 Personal material and correspondence Correspondence, etc. re Trinity College, Cambridge. Thomson was Master of the College 1918-40. In alphabetical order. Balfour, A.J. Churchill, W.S. Declining invitation to give Clark Lectures. c yak re School of Biochemistry at Cambridge. 1925 1932 1924 Devonshire, 9th Duke W725, eae Eliot, 1.3% Accepting invitation to give Clark Lectures. Fletcher, H. Macnaghten, M.M. Maurois, A. Accepting invitation to give Clark Lectures. Pym, T.W. 1925 193] 1926 1927 1938 Scholfield, A.F. Trevelyan, G.M. unidentified n.d. n.d. 1924 1931 Ullswater, J.W.L. _which also includes draft description of G.P. Thomson's 1 p. only ofletter re portrait of his father, left to Trinity. Ms. notes by Thomson for a speech at 80th birthday dinner for Frank Newall, written on double sheet work on electron diffraction. J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 Personal material and correspondence Film of J.J. Thomson at Bell Telephone Laboratories, 1923. The film bears the caption 'Sir Joseph J. Thomson is welcomed by Bell Telephone Engineers and escorted through their laboratories at the Western Electric Co., New York, March 28 1923'. It is accompanied by a brief letter re the film to G.P. Thomson, 23 October 1962, from H.F. Wickham of Associated Electrical Industries Limited. J.J. Thomson: CSAC 74/4/80 SECTION B NOTES AND DRAFTS FOR PUBLICATIONS (B.1 -B.22) All items are manuscript. See also A.3 for mention of other notebooks held in University Library, Cambridge. ‘The Electrodeless Discharge', 23 pp. (perhaps draft for the Guthrie Lecture, 1928) 4 pp. draft for a paper or lecture on the electrodeless ring discharge. ‘The oscillations of an ionised gas and their connection with some phenomena associated with the initial stages of the electric discharge through gases’. 5 pp., heavily corrected, incomplete. ‘Appendix to Dalton lecture', 1 p. only. ¢.193] Pps. 6 & 7 of a paper on kinetic energy of electrons. ‘Conduction of electricity y through gng gases’. All bear later revisions, additions, notes This was first published by J.J. Thomson in 1897. 3rd edition was produced in collaboration with G.P. Thomson and published in 1928. The The material consists of fragments of varying length of J.J. Thomson's original manuscript, bearing his pagination. to the printer, etc., some in J.J.'s hand but mainly by G.P. pages 615-616', ‘Density of Electrons along the discharge', pp. 16-35 (for c.p.460, Vol. Il). Ms. draft, pps. 20-28, with ms. note, 'p.574'. Ms. draft, pps.3-19, with ms. note ‘follow on with ‘Striated discharge', pps. 1-15, with ms. note 'p-3077 Vortl’. The Ring Electrodeless Discharge', pp. 1-2, with ms. note 'p.431, Vol.2'. ‘Effect of light on the ring discharge’, pp.9-20, with ms. note 'p.438, Vol.II'. J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 Notes and drafts for publications Folder labelled inside 'Mss 5. Thomson Discharge through Gas', pps.1-12. Unassigned draft, pps.11-20. Unassigned draft, pps.12-19. Shorter fragments, all with page numbers but not forming a sequence. Notebook containing loose pages of J.J.'s draft, with a note by G.P. 'Thermodynamics of complex ions to be transferred to mobility chap. ' Unassigned draft, pp.2-7. Misc. pages, with a note by G.P. 'Not required’. Substantial draft, of loose pages strung together, some bearing dates of day and month (no years given). On scattering. Folder labelled (by G.P.) 'Thomson's Gases', with sequence of pages, 92-98, by J.J. . 7 pp. draft for paper on electron; n.d. but refers to G.P. Thomson's experiments on electron waves, co. 1928" Notebook, both ends used, and many notes and diagrams also on cover. Miscellaneous contents, including several drafts for papers referring to G.P. Thomson's experiments (1926-28), de Broglie's theory, structure of the electron, electrodeless - discharge, etc. J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 SECTION C SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE (C.1-C.3) In alphabetical order. Conjoint Board of Scientific Societies. Cards re committees to consider formation of an International Union in Radio-Telegraphy, and an International Union in Mathematics. Deschamps, Fisher, J.A. re Thomson's memorandum and research on mines. Haldane, R.B. on Thomson's Kelvin lecture. Kempner, A.J. (letter to J. Kunz re protection against submarines, passed on to Thomson). J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 SECTION D D.1-D.11 ACCOUNTS AND BIOGRAPHIES OF THOMSON (D.1-D.37) 'J.J. Thomson and the Cavendish Laboratory in his Day' (British Men of Science, Nelson 1964) An account of Thomson and his work, by G.P. Thomson. Ms. draft. Preface, Chapters ] and 2 (incomplete). Chapter 6. Chapters 7, 8, 9 (incomplete). Chapters 10, 11, 12, Appendix (incomplete). Lists of illustrations. Corrected typescript draft. Preface, Chapters 1-3. Chapter 11, Conclusion, Appendix, Index. Miscellaneous pages for re-typing and correction, with re-cast and re-assigned chapter headings. Galley proof of book, with G.P. Thomson's list of ‘Principal alterations and corrections’. Chapters 4-6. Chapters 7-10. 'J.J. Thomson' but are not dated. 3 ringback notebooks of notes compiled by G.P. Thomson for his biography or other writings about J.J. Thomson. The notes are in pencil, blue and red ink or biro, and include short narratives, diagrams, calculations, biblio- graphical indications, etc. Includes letters 1918-20 addressed by Thomson to Keys, on experiments with underwater explosions at Shandon (Argyll). Photocopies of photographs and correspondence, obtained by G.P. Thomson. D.13-D.15 The notebooks are all headed J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 Accounts and biographies of Thomson Notes on J.J. Thomson's papers (some in detail) and those of others, or on history of Cavendish Laboratory. Includes plan for 'Chapter IV'. Similar material. notes for 'Unplaced possible additions' (on pumps - used as Appendix in book). Both ends of book used. Includes Both ends of book used. Similar material. headed 'J.J.T. continued’. ‘Leckhampton', contain a draft proposal for Leckhampton House, the postgraduate campus of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, officially established in 1961 during the Mastership of G.P. Thomson. Pps.1 & 2, headed P.3 is Miscellaneous shorter notes on J.J. Thomson and his work, some on pages apparently torn from ringback notebooks. 10 bundles. Hardback notebook, originally used by G.P. Thomson for mathematical notes on Gamma Functions (c. 1910-12) and continuing with drafts for biography. Includes some loose pages of plans and notes. Proof copies of illustrations. Printed material consulted by G.P. Thomson. D.20-D.31 Other writings on J.J. Thomson, by G.P. Thomson. Several of these were commissioned for the centenary of . J.J. Thomson's birth in 1956; the material was often Correspondence with publishers (Nelson), 1962-64. Mainly re illustrations. at Trinity College Library, Cambridge. Address given at International Conference on the Quantum Interactions of the Free Electron, held 23-25 April 1956 at University of Maryland, and published in Physics Today, August 1956, which bears a photograph of J.J. Thomson on the cover. Drafts of the address can be found in the collection of G.P. Thomson's papers (CSAC no.75/5/80, item G. 2) drawn upon for later accounts and there is considerable overlap in the content. ‘J.J. Thomson and the discovery of the Electron’. Offprint. J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 Accounts and biographies of Thomson 4 pp. untitled biographical sketch of J..1. Thomson, n.d. but 1956. Talk at Trinity College, Cambridge, to Cambridge University Physics Society, November 1956. Ms. notes. 8 pp. typescript and ms. draft. Correspondence re arrangements. ‘Sir J.J. Thomson’. Talk given to the Osler Club, 6 December 1956. 10 pp. typescript with ms. corrections and 2 pp. ms. additions. Another copy, 6 pp. only, with many corrections and deletions in Thomson's and in another hand, to reduce length to 1500 words. rds J. Taomsonie Corrected ms. and uncorrected proof of article published in New Scientist, December 1956. Offprint of published version. "J.J. Thomson’. Friday Evening Discourse at the Royal Institution, 7 December 1956. 14 pp. heavily corrected typescript, offprint of published version in Proc.Roy. Inst., 36. Notes for talk at Farnborough, November 1957. 24 pp. typescript with ms. corrections, offprint of published version in Science, 14 December 1956. ig ea Ee Vhs 2 pp. ms. notes. as Ju bas "J.J. Thomson’. 2 pp. ms. draft, with a note ‘not used’. ‘The Centenary of J.J. Thomson’. Includes editorial correspondence. J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 Accounts and biographies of Thomson "J.J. Thomson as we remember him'. Article, mainly personal recollections, by George and Joan Thomson, Notes and Records of the Royal Society, December 1957. Offprint. "J.J. Thomson'. 1] pp. typescript with ms. corrections (and second copies of pps. 7-9 of another version). Ms. bears annotations ‘Intended for 'The New Scientist! December '56 but not used as it was too long', 'Given at Brunel College, Acton, February 26 1959', ‘Also A.E. 1. Aldermaston May 1962'. Also included is an offprint from Bull. Inst.Phys., March ° 1959, containing the same lecture, with a note that it was delivered to the Birmingham Branch, January 1959. ‘J.J. Thomson’. Ms. and corrected typescript versions of article for Encyclopaedia-Anthology of Nobel Prizewinners. Ms. and typescript versions. ‘Sir Joseph John Thomson’. Article for Encyclopaedia Britannica. Includes editorial correspondence, March 1960 Includes editorial correspondence. June 1960 Article for A Biographical Dictionary of Scientists, 1966. Article for Collier's Encyclopaedia, typescript with ms. additions. by D. Price, 1956, 1957. 3 ms. drafts, Ist heavily revised typescript, final version as sent and published. Other published notes and articles on J. J. Thomson Includes editorial correspondence. 1970-71 J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 SECTION E E.1-E.4 PUBLISHED WORKS (E.1-E.6) ‘Pamphlets'. index, 4 Vols., bound; Vol.1 includes complete | I HT IV 1876-1890 1891-1905 1906-1915 1916-1935 Offprints of publications (fo 1935). 1 box. Offprints of publications (miscellaneous). Included here are a copy of the Memoir of Rutherford (Proc. Phys.Soc. 1938) to which Thomson contributed, a list of Thomson's publications dated June 1909, and photocopies of 3 articles contributed by Thomson to Watts' Dictionary of Chemistry, ed. M.M.P. Muir, 1888 (sent to G.P. Thomson by P. Spitzer, 1970). 1 box. See A.3 for note by P. Spitzer listing other publications by Thomson. J.J. Thomson CSAC 74/4/80 INDEX OF CORRESPONDENTS BALFOUR, Arthur James, Earl of BURTON,Eli Franklin CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer DESCHAMPS, Baron DEVONSHIRE, Victor Christian William Cavendish, 9th Duke ELIOT, Thomas Stearns FISHER, John Arbuthnot, Baron Fisher FLETCHER, Hanslip HALDANE, Richard Burdon, Viscount HOBSON, Ernest William KEMPNER, Aubrey J. LAMB, Sir Horace MACNAGHTEN, Malcolm M. M'TAGGART, M. Ellis > > f O > > k e e P . A o 8 6 E E P r e > t e t e M e e y P O o PYM, 15. 4W; SPITZER, Paul WARD, J. A, MAUROIS, André SGHOLEIEID 2 A. Fy THRELFALL, Sir Richard TREVELYAN, George Macaulay PARSONS, Sir Charles Algernon ULLSWATER, James Arthur Lowther, Viscount > e e S