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Record Details

Tin of Elements, associated with H.G.J. Moseley?, Manchester/Oxford, c.1913

Object is on display.
Inventory Number: 16808
Object Type:
Persons: Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley
Date Created: c.1913
Place Created: Manchester England United Kingdom Europe
Accession Number: 1935-8
Brief Description: These chemical element samples are attributed to Henry Moseley and were probably used by Moseley, first at Manchester in 1913 and then at Oxford from November 1913 to the summer of 1914. He studied them using X-ray spectroscopy and hence determined their atomic number. The results were published in the ‘Philosophical Magazine’ in 1913 and 1914.

Moseley placed the specimens he wanted to investigate in an X-ray tube and created a vacuum by evacuating air from the X-ray tube and spectrometer. He made use of the effect that when an element is bombarded with energetic electrons X-rays with characteristic wavelengths are produced. These different wavelengths led to the X-rays being reflected at different angles from the crystal in the centre of the spectrometer. So when X-ray beams of different wavelengths hit a photographic plate they will create distinct lines. The angular position and separation of these lines are unique for each element. These values helped Harry to determine the wavelengths of the lines and hence the number of protons in the element’s nucleus.

See attached narrative 'Henry 'Harry' Moseley and his experiments' for further details.
Provenance: Associated with H.G.J. Moseley
Collection Group:
Material(s): tin plated Fe
Height Width Depth Diameter Unit
43 163 110 mm


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