In 1897 J.J. Thomson ‘discovered’ the electron. The previous year, he and his research student Ernest Rutherford (later to ‘discover’ the atomic nucleus), collaborated in experiments to work out why gases exposed to x-rays became conducting.

This talk will discuss the very different mathematical educations of the two men, and the impact these differences had on their experimental investigation and the theory they arrived at. This theory formed the backdrop to Thomson’s electron work the following year.

**Date**: 9 November 2018, 15:00 (Friday, 5th week, Michaelmas 2018)**Venue**: Mathematical Institute

Woodstock Road OX2 6GGSee location on maps.ox**Details**: Classroom C1**Speaker**: Isobel Falconer (University of St Andrews)**Organising department**: Mathematical Institute**Organiser**: Christopher Hollings (University of Oxford)**Organiser contact email address**: christopher.hollings@maths.ox.ac.uk**Host**: Christopher Hollings (University of Oxford)**Part of**: History of Mathematics Seminar**Booking required?**: Not required**Audience**: Members of the University only- Editor: Christopher Hollings