Spectroscopy and the Elements in the Late Nineteenth Century: The Work of Sir William Crookes

  title={Spectroscopy and the Elements in the Late Nineteenth Century: The Work of Sir William Crookes},
  author={Robert K. DeKosky},
  journal={The British Journal for the History of Science},
  pages={400 - 423}
  • R. K. DeKosky
  • Published 1 December 1973
  • Law
  • The British Journal for the History of Science
Two imposing related problems confronted the chemical spectroscopist of the late nineteenth century. First, he lacked a criterion for judging the validity of claims for elemental discoveries; indeed, he possessed no satisfactory operational definition of the chemical element. Secondly, he felt the need for correlating the spectra of the elements to a conception of their ultimate constitution. 
14 Citations
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Nineteenth-Century Speculations on the Complexity of the Chemical Elements
  • W. V. Farrar
  • Physics
    The British Journal for the History of Science
  • 1965
Synopsis The atomic theory of Dalton implied that there were more than 30 different kinds of matter, the chemical elements. William Prout (1815) was the first of a long line of distinguished
V. On radiant matter spectroscopy. Part II. Samarium
  • W. Crookes
  • Physics
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London
  • 1885
In the concluding sentence of the Bakerian Lecture which I had the honour to deliver before the Royal Society, May 31st, 1883, I said that the new method of Radiant Matter Spectroscopy there
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  • W. Crookes
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    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London
  • 1883
For several years I have been examining the phenomena presented by various substances when struck by the molecular discharge from the negative pole in a highly exhausted tube. I have ventured to call
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  • W. Crookes
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    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London
  • 1881
In a paper which I had the honour of presenting to the Royal Society in March, 1879, I drew attention to the fact that many substances, when in high vacua and submitted to the molecular discharge by
IX. On some new elements in gadolinite and samarskite, detected spectroscopically
  • W. Crookes
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    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London
  • 1886
The recent discovery by my distinguished friend M. de Boisbandran on the existence of a new element which he calls Dysprosium makes it unadvisable on my part, as a fellow investigator in
XV. On attraction and repulsion resulting from radiation
  • W. Crookes
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    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
  • 1874
1. In a paper “On the Atomic Weight of Thallium,” presented to the Royal Society June 18, 1872, after describing a balance with which I was enabled to perform weighings of apparatus &c. in a vacuum,
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It has long been known that certain substances enclosed in a vacuon glass bulb phosphoresce brightly when submitted to molecular bombardment from the negative pole of an induction coil.