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The Discovery Of The X-rays

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The discovery of the X-rays

Röntgen was born on March 27, 1845, at Lennep in the Lower Rhine Province of Germany. He was the only child of a merchant and a cloth manufacturer. Röntgen was brought up in Netherlands after he and his family moved to Apeldoorn in 1848. Here he first received his early education at the Institute of Martinus Herman van Doorn. In 1861 attended the Utrecht Technical School. Unfortunately in 1863 he was expelled unfairly from his school after being accused of a prank another student had committed. Even though Röntgen did not seem to be especially gifted in his schoolwork, he was good at building mechanical objects, a talent that enabled him to build many of his own experimental devices in his later life.

He then entered the University of Utrecht in 1865 to study physics without having the necessary credentials required for a regular student. In 1869, he earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Zurich. Here he attended lectures by the noted physicist Rudolf Julius Emmanuel Clausius and also worked in the laboratory of Kundt.

As soon as he completed his graduation he was appointed assistant to Kundt and went with him to Würzburg in the same year, and three years later to Strasbourg.

In 1874 he was appointed as a lecturer at Strasbourg University and in 1875 served as a professor in the Academy of Agriculture at Hohenheim in Württemberg. In 1876 he returned to Strasbourg as Professor of Physics. Three years later he accepted the invitation to the Chair of Physics in the University of Giessen. In 1888, he obtained the same position at the University of Würzburg, and in 1900 at the University of Munich. Even though he accepted an appointment at Columbia University in New York City but due to the occurrence of World War I, Röntgen changed his plans and remained in Munich for the rest of his career.

Röntgen died at Munich on February 10, 1923, from carcinoma of the intestine.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, scientists discovered the composition of the electron. And the physicists saw that two electrodes are sealed into a glass containing air with an electric current, it can produce light.

In 1859, the German physicist Plucker concluded that the fluorescence was due to something radiating from the negative electrode or cathode. After this discovery, many scientists worked about this travel: Hertz, Lenard, and Crookes …

Roentgen, in Wurzburg, worked as many scientists, about the cathode rays. He produced the same experiments but for one of these experiments, he had covered the tube with a black card to mask the fluorescent glows (lueur), which always exist in the glass in this kind of experiment. He noticed that some crystals of barium platino-cyanide which happened to be on a table become fluorescent. This observation was made on Friday the 8 November 1895. Roentgen concluded that the tube was emitting some unknown kind of rays which produced fluorescence. He observed that a screen coated with barium platino-cyanide and held near the tube fluoresced all over, but if a metallic object was placed between the tube and the screen, it cast a shadow.

To qualify this rays, Roentgen used the term X-rays, because he didn’t known the nature of the rays. On 28 December 1895, Roentgen published his first paper. It’s announcing the discovery of unknown rays


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