The World of Atom (Part V)



Chapter 21: Atoms and Electricity (Michael Faraday 1791 – 1867)

Newton’s abhorrence of action at a distance led Faraday to introduce the concept of a field of force in space, such as the one around a magnet. He viewed the field as tubes of force and explained the phenomenon of induction as follows: “Whenever tubes of force are cut by a conductor, current flows in the conductor; the faster the tubes are cut, the greater the electromotive force that is induced in the conductor.” Faraday began a series of experiments in electrochemistry and described electricity as the energy that loosens from matter and moves around carrying its chemical force. It is equivalent to the particles separated.

Chapter 22: Electromagnetic Theory (James Clerk Maxwell 1831 – 1879)

Maxwell pointed out that the interaction of charged bodies with the surrounding medium could not be disregarded. He assumed the existence of an electromagnetic field of force in space, which was composed of ethereal substance. This substance has a small but finite density. It has kinetic energy by motion, and potential energy by elasticity. The propagation of waves occurred because there was a continuous alternate transformation between these two forms of energy. Maxwell used experimental data of induction between electrical and magnetic fields. He had to overcome the idea of electric current being always associated with a conductor. He calls the changing electric field between two condenser plates a displacement current and states that it is measured by the rate at which the electric field is changing. With this innovation Maxwell was able to write down a set of equations for the electromagnetic field in which the electric field and the magnetic field enter in a symmetrical way. From these equations he derived a single wave equation that describes the way electromagnetic field is propagated. Maxwell’s theory explains how the atom absorbs and emits radiation.

Chapter 23: Cathode Rays – A “Fourth State of Matter” (William Crookes 1832 – 1919)

William Crookes studied the nature of electric current as it left a conductor into a vacuum, as “cathode rays.” It radiated out perpendicular to the surface of the cathode in straight line. It generated impact as demonstrated by rotation of leaves of a radiometer. This radiation is laminar as the “rays” do not cross each other. It produces sharp shadows. Focusing of these rays produces heating effects. The cathode rays are also deflected in the presence of a magnet, but this deflection decreases with increasing exhaustion of the tube.

Chapter 24: A Remarkable Regularity in the Hydrogen Spectrum (Johann Jacob Balmer 1825 – 1898)

Balmer produced a mathematical formula that correctly gave the wavelengths of the spectral lines of the hydrogen atom. Balmer’s discovery was generalized by the “Ritz combination principle” as follows: “For any atom there exist a characteristic sequence of numerical terms such that the frequency of any line in the spectrum of this atom can be expressed as the differences of other lines in the spectrum.” This remarkable sequence, which stemmed from the basic work of Balmer, was of great importance in leading finally to the Bohr model of the atom.

Chapter 25: The Luminiferous Ether Receives a Mortal Blow (Albert A. Michelson 1852 – 1931, Edward W. Morley 1838 – 1923)

The phenomenon of the aberration of starlight conflicted with the theory that light is a disturbance in the medium of ether. Fizeau’s experiment showed small increase in the speed of light in moving transparent bodies. This was cited as a confirmation of Fresnel’s concept of “ether drag” and as a proof for the existence of ether. Michelson-Morley’s experiment of 1887 demonstrated that if there be any relative motion between the earth and the luminiferous aether, it must be small; quite small enough entirely to refute Fresnel’s concept of “ether drag.” It raised the question about the real nature of light.



  1. There are electric and magnetic fields of force in space.
  2. Electric field induces magnetic field and vice versa.
  3. Electricity is energy that loosens from matter and moves around carrying its chemical force.
  4. The electromagnetic field of force in space is a form of substance.
  5. This substance has motion and elasticity, example of which is light.
  6. Atoms emit and absorb electromagnetic radiation.
  7. The electric current radiates out into vacuum as cathode rays.
  8. The cathode rays have consistency and momentum.
  9. The cathode rays travel in straight lines, and they are laminar in flow.
  10. The regularity of atomic structure is visible in the atomic spectra.
  11. Light is electromagnetic substance and not a disturbance in some ethereal medium.

Charge within the atom acts as the transitional phase between its nuclear mass and surrounding energy. It is responsible for the chemical force that locks atoms together. It can flow out into vacuum as cathode rays. Atoms extend out in space as electromagnetic vortex of energy and force that fills the space. The regularity of atomic structure is visible in atomic spectra that is produced when atoms absorb and emit electromagnetic radiation, such as light. Light is electromagnetic substance and not a disturbance in some ethereal medium.


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