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Rene-Prosper Blondlot

Rene-Prosper Blondlot

H402/0358

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Rene-Prosper Blondlot. Historical portrait of the French physicist Rene-Prosper Blondlot (1849- 1930). Blondlot studied polarised light, but is famous for his erronerous claims concerning the existence of N-rays. In 1903, shortly after Roentgen had discovered X-rays, Blondlot claimed to have discovered a new form of radiation. He named them N-rays after Nancy, his home town. Several other scientists supported his claims. However, in a good example of the self-correcting nature of science, a full investigation found no evidence for N-rays. The whole debacle was attributed to auto-suggestion and self-deception. Blondlot recanted and died in obscurity.

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