Two landmarks in the history of physics are the discovery of the
particulate nature of cathode rays (the electron) by J. J. Thomson in 1897
and the experimental demonstration by his son G. P. Thomson in 1927 that
the electron exhibits the properties of a wave. Together, the Thomsons are
two of the most significant figures in modern physics, both winning Nobel
prizes for their work. This book presents the intellectual biographies of
the father-and-son physicists, shedding new light on their combined
understanding of the nature of electrons and, by extension, of the
continuous nature of matter. It is the first text to explore J. J.
Thomson's early and later work, as well as the role he played in G. P.
Thomson's education as a physicist and how he reacted to his son's
discovery of electron diffraction. This fresh perspective will interest
academics and graduate students working in the history of early