G. Johnstone Stoney
(15 Feb 1826 - 5 Jul 1911)
Irish physicist who identified a fundamental unit of electricity in electrolysis (Aug 1874), and subsequently coined the word electron for it. When J.J. Thomson discovered the particles in cathode rays, 23 years later in 1897 (which he called corpuscles, the name electron was also applied them.
Science Quotes by G. Johnstone Stoney (1 quote)
A theory is a supposition which we hope to be true, a hypothesis is a supposition which we expect to be useful; fictions belong to the realm of art; if made to intrude elsewhere, they become either make-believes or mistakes.
— G. Johnstone Stoney
As quoted by William Ramsay, in 'Radium and Its Products', Harpers Magazine (Dec 1904), 52. The first part, about suppositions, appears in a paper read by G. Johnson Stoney to the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia (3 Apr 1903), printed in 'On the Dependence of What Apparently Takes Place in Nature Upon What Actually Occurs in the Universe of Real Existences', Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge (Apr-May 1903) 42, No. 173, 107. If you know a primary source for the part on fictions and mistakes, please contact Webmaster.
- - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Stoney's birth. 15 Feb
Obituary for George Johnstone Stoney from Proceedings of The Royal Society (1912)
Of the Electron, or Atom of Electricity - letter by G. Johnstone Stoney in the Philosophical Magazine.