Friday, 20 February 2009

My Name is J.J. Thomson...

Air: “Solomon Levi.”

I. My name is J.J. Thomson and my lab’s in Free School Lane,
If once a man has been inside he’s sure to come again,
Here some do play with Töpler pumps, and some with liquid air,
And some do play the giddy goat, but that’s not here nor there.

Oh! J. J. Thomson, J. J. Tra-la-la-la,
Sir Joseph Thomson, Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la,
My name is J. J. Thomson, and my lab’s in Free School Lane,
There’s no professor like J. J. my students all maintain,
I’ve been here six and twenty years, and here I shall remain,
For all the boys just worship me at my lab. in Free School Lane.

2. I’ve got a lot of two volt cells that sometimes need repair,
I’ve got some electrometers that sometimes make me swear;
But when I’m sure a leak’s not due to ultra-violet light,
I hand the thing to Everett, who always puts it right.

3. When once or twice a week I go to play a game of golf,
I leave the apparatus safe in charge of Mr. Rolph,
And Lincoln, too, in case you want a glass tube or a flash,
Will drop his work immediately and get you what you ask.

4. When I give a public lecture nothing ever does go wrong,
For Everett is always there to help the thing along,
And there, too, in the corner, with his visage wreathed in wmile,
Sits my other good assistant, the genial Mr. Hayles.

5. The people are delighted with the wondrous things we do,
But few have any notion that we’re such a jolly crew.
If some of them were here to-night I think we’d make it plain
We’re not all just as dry as dust at the lab. in Free School Lane!


From The Post Prandial Proceedings of the Cavendish Physical Society (1911 fourth edition)

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