Joseph John Thomson was a leading English physicist, born December 18, 1856 in Manchester, who discovered the electron.
He began his academic life studying engineering at Owens College, but due to financial difficulties after his father's death, dropped out of the course and began studying mathematics, physics and chemistry. He became a professor at Cambridge, where he organized Cavendish's laboratory.
In 1890 he married Rose Elisabth Paget. They had two children, George Paget Thomson and Joan Paget Thomson. His son became a brilliant physicist and was even awarded a Nobel Prize for discovering wave properties in electrons. Thomson received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of electrons in 1906.
His works gave understanding to the atomic structure. His experiments were done with cathode ray tubes, which really allowed the demonstration of the existence of electrons.
In 1908 he was knighted and in 1918 became master of Trinity College in Cambridge. He was vice president of the Esperanto International Science Association and was elected member of the Royal Society in 1884 and president from 1915 to 1920.
Thomson died in 1940 and was buried at Westminster Abbey, near physicist Isaac Newton.