Charge to mass ratio?

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HowStuffWorks: Atoms said:
By applying an electric field alone, a magnetic field alone, or both in combination, Thomson could measure the ratio of the electric charge to the mass of the cathode rays.
He found the same charge to mass ratio of cathode rays was seen regardless of what material was inside the tube or what the cathode was made of.
Charge and mass are two completely different things, how can you have the same ratio of the two? :uhh:
 

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rbj
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Charge and mass are two completely different things, how can you have the same ratio of the two? :uhh:
the ratio is not a dimensionless number (unless you're using Natural units such as Planck units and then the measure of anything is actually a dimensionless number).

when one considers the concept of speed, it's a ratio of length to time, likewise two completely different things. or density, a ratio of mass to volume, again two completely different kinds of quantity.
 

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