Wilhelm Roentgen, German physicist

Wilhelm Roentgen, German physicist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (1845-1923), German experimental physicist and discoverer of X-rays. In 1895, while using an electric discharge tube in a darkened room, Roentgen noticed that the tube induced a glow in certain chemicals. The effect could penetrate walls and metal sheets. Roentgen, who was professor of physics at Wurzburg, Germany, named this effect X-ray radiation. He was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. X-rays are today widely used in medicine as a diagnostic tool. Artwork from the 17th volume (first period of 1896) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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