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Goldstein, Eugen


GOLDSTEIN, EUGEN (1850–1931), German physicist. Goldstein was born at Gleiwitz in Upper Silesia and became a student of the German scientist Herman von Helmholtz (1821–1894). Most of Goldstein's research was devoted to radiant emissions, first at the University of Berlin and later at the Potsdam Observatory. He is best remembered for his studies of high-vacuum cathode ray tubes, leading to his discovery of "Kanalstrahlen," known in English as "canal rays." He found that these rays travel in the opposite direction from normal cathode rays. This was highly significant for the understanding of radiation in general, as it was shown later that such rays consist of positively charged particles and this in turn led Rutherford to prove that these particles, called protons, must exist alongside uncharged neutrons to make up the nucleus of every atom.


I. Asimov, Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology (1964), 403–4; Huntress, in: Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 78 (1950), 29–30.

[J. Edwin Holmstrom]

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