• In the year 1886 Goldstein discovered a new kind of rays in discharge tubes containing rarefied gas, the study of which has become extremely important to our knowledge of the physical properties of atoms and molecules. In view of the manner of their formation Goldstein called them canal rays. It was proved by the research of W. Wien and J.J. Thomson that the majority of these are composed of positively charged atoms of the gas in the discharge tube, which move along the beam at a very high velocity.

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