O'Neill's Electronic Museum

Penn Valley California

Electric Theory of Matter

BY SIR OLIVER LODGE, F.R.S.

Page 6
Crookes Rays

and another, which is proportional to the number of electrons in each. It is quite doubtful whether it is displayed to be an isolated or disembodied electron, but the act of immersing an electron in its attracting atmosphere may develop it. We know too little about electricity, especially about positive electricity, to be able to justify or expand such a guess; but, as a guess and no more, I venture to throw it out: believing it to be a static residual strain effect not due even to corpuscular motion, or to any other modifiable circumstance, but inherent in the constitution of each atom, whether it be an entire complex or be, broken up into simpler substances.
If it be true that every atom occupies the same volume of space, then gravitation might seem to be an effect depending on the crowdedness of electrons; but when an atom, breaks up into unequal parts, the smaller portion must in that case undergo considerable expansion, and that would be inconsistent with the constancy of gravitation, if it depended on crowdedness: hence I think it more probable that it depends on some interaction between positive and negative electricity, and that it is generated when these two come together, that is whenever an atom of matter is formed.
The formation of an atom of matter out of electricity is a new idea, and has as yet no experimental justification. The breaking up of complex atoms into simpler forms, and the partial resolution of an atom into dust or constituent electrons, is all that is as yet experimentally justifiable and all therefore that ought to be mentioned; but the inverse process seems to me naturally to follow, and I look to the time when some, laboratory workers will exhibit matter newly formed from stuff which is not matter, instead atoms

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