NON-QUANTUM THEORIES OF ATOMIC STRUCTURE DISCUSSED IN THE JOURNAL 'WSZECHSWIAT' IN THE YEARS 1882-1914
The paper gives a brief account of those non-quantum theories of atomic structure which were most frequently discussed in the years 1882-1914 in 'Wszechswiat' (The Universe), a Warsaw-based weekly devoted to the natural sciences. The paper describes both the works of foreign scientists, and the comments by Polish authors. Now the models are only of a historical significance, which means that many of them remain unknown even to people who are professionally engaged in atomic physics. A considerable amount of experimental data, such as the complex form of emission and absorption atomic spectra, the periodicity of properties of elements, simple arithmetical interdependencies between atomic masses, and finally the discovery of the electron in 1897, led the 19th-century naturalists to recognize the complex structure of the atom. The paper discusses very briefly the following issues: the role of positive and negative particles in the structure of the atom, the ratio of mass to electricity (involved in the discussion on the theory of the electromagnetic origin of mass), and ether (the view of atoms as vortexes in ether, as conceived of by Benjamin Thomson, Gustave Le Bon and Nikolaus Dellinghausen), as well as selected conceptions of atomic structure - non-planetary (by Joseph John Thomson and Philipp Lenard) and planetary (by Ernest Rutherford and John Nicholson).
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