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Hazy Spots on Photographic Plates: On the Measurement of the Velocity-Dependency of the Electron’s Mass

Potters, Jan (2023) Hazy Spots on Photographic Plates: On the Measurement of the Velocity-Dependency of the Electron’s Mass. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 53 (1). pp. 1-34.

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Abstract

In this article, different experimental attempts to measure the velocity-dependency of the electron’s mass will be discussed. These experiments were carried out between 1901 and 1916 by Walter Kaufmann, Alfred Bucherer, Günther Neumann, and Charles-Eugène Guye together with Charles Lavanchy. They all attempted to capture this effect on photographic plates, such that it could then be measured afterward as precisely as the plates allowed for. It will be argued that two different approaches to the production of precise photographic plates can be distinguished: one that conceptualized precision in terms of qualitative plates, and one that attempted to achieve it through quantity. In the final part of the article, it will then be argued that these two approaches were shaped both by the specific radiating materials at hand as well as by the intellectual context in which the scientists involved were working.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Potters, JanJan.Potters@UAntwerpen.be0000-0002-5292-5369
Keywords: History of Physics; Electron Experiments; Styles of experimentation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Dr. Jan Potters
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2024 12:38
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2024 12:38
Item ID: 22988
Journal or Publication Title: Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences
Publisher: University of California Press
Official URL: https://online.ucpress.edu/hsns/article/53/1/1/195...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1525/hsns.2023.53.1.1
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2023
Page Range: pp. 1-34
Volume: 53
Number: 1
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22988

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