NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
12th June, 1901 : Atoms, thought for almost a century to be the ultimate units of matter, may contain smaller particles still. That is the startling implication of a discovery just announced by French physicist Henri Becquerel. In 1896, Becquerel discovered that salts of the metal uranium emitted rays. He has now shown that these rays behave like the artificially produced cathode rays, recently shown by Professor J J Thomson to consist of electrons which weight only a fraction of the lightest atom. Becquerel’s rays can only have come from uranium atoms. The inescapable conclusion is that these atoms, and probably all other atoms, contain still smaller particles: electrons.
[We have come a long way since, but unfortunately scientists today are not what they used to be. Today they mostly turned to a religion – Anthropogenic Global Warming, and ignore the evidence.]