JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEAN-LOUP CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Wilhelm Roentgen. Photograph of German physicist and discoverer of X-rays, Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen (1845-1923). This portrait was taken a year after Roentgen made his X-ray discovery in 1895. He was professor of physics at Wurzburg. While using an electric discharge tube in a darkened room, Roentgen noticed that a card coated with barium platinocyanide glowed when the tube was switched on. The effect was not blocked by an intervening wall, or even a thin sheet of metal. Roentgen termed this newly discovered phenomenon X-ray radiation, and suggested they were short wave electromagnetic rays. He was awarded the first Nobel Prize for physics, in 1901.
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