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If the experimental physicist has already done a great deal of work in this field, nevertheless the theoretical physicist has still hardly begun to evaluate the experimental material which may lead him to conclusions about the structure of the atom.
For under certain conditions the chemical atoms emit light waves of a specific length or oscillation frequency - their familiar characteristic spectra - and these can come in the form of electromagnetic waves only from accelerated electric quanta.
By recognizing that the chemical atom is composed of single separable electric quanta, humanity has taken a great step forward in the investigation of the natural world.
By allowing the positive ions to pass through an electric field and thus giving them a certain velocity, it is possible to distinguish them from the neutral, stationary atoms.
At the head of these new discoveries and insights comes the establishment of the facts that electricity is composed of discrete particles of equal size, or quanta, and that light is an electromagnetic wave motion.
An external electric field, meeting it and passing through it, affects the negative as much as the positive quanta of the atom, and pushes the former to one side, and the latter in the other direction.
Along a series of lines running from longer to shorter wavelengths the effect of the electric field becomes greater as the serial numbers increase - that is, as the wavelength decreases.
A beam of luminous hydrogen canal rays has, owing to its velocity, exactly the same direction as that of the electric field in which it may be made to move.
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