Crookes' mill-wheel tube, 1879-1888.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm

Crookes' mill-wheel tube, 1879-1888.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


This tube was produced between 1879 and 1888 in the laboratory of Sir William Crookes (1832-1919). It is one of a set of tubes that was donated to the Science Museum by Crookes for demonstrating the properties of cathode rays. When the tube is connected to a very high voltage electricity supply cathode rays are emitted from the negative electrode (the small rod on the right-hand side). When they hit the mill, it spins.

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