Biography of Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen – Inventor of X-rays

Monday, May 13th, 2019 - Biography

The discovery of X-rays or X-ray rays is very meaningful for the advancement of the medical world and Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen, the inventor of X-rays has greatly contributed to this. Here’s the biography. He was born in 1845 in the city of Lennep, Germany. He obtained a doctorate in 1869 from the University of Zurich.

For nineteen years thereafter, Rontgen worked in various universities, and gradually gained the reputation of a thumbs up scientist. In 1888 he was appointed a professor of physics and Director of the Warburg University Physics Institute. That’s where, in 1895, Rontgen made a discovery that made his name famous.

Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen experiment and discovery of X-rays or X-ray rays
November 8, 1895 X-rays again make an experiment with “cathode rays.” Cathode rays consist of electron currents. The current is produced using a high voltage between the electrodes placed at each end of the glass tube which the air is almost completely emptied. The cathode beam itself is not specifically seeped and has been stopped by a few centimeters of air.

In this incident X-rays had completely closed him had a cathode ray tube with thick black paper, so even if an electric light was turned on, no light could be seen from the tube. However, when Rontgen turned on the electric current in the cathode ray tube, he was shocked to see that the light began to glow on a screen located near the bench as it was stimulated by the beam of light. He put out the tube and the screen (which was wrapped by barium platinocyanide) the light stopped glowing.
Because the cathode ray tube is fully closed, X-rays immediately realize that a form of radiation that is not visible must come from the tube when electric light is turned on. Because this is a mysterious thing, he calls the radiation that appears to be “X-rays.” The “X” is an ordinary mathematical symbol for something unknown.

Tempted by his coincidental discovery, Rontgen set aside other investigations and focused on examining things contained in “X-rays.” After several weeks of hard work, he found other evidence like this: (1) X-rays can make rays of various chemical objects other than “barium platinocyanide.” (2) X-rays can break through various objects that are not penetrated by ordinary light.

Special X-rays found that X-rays can penetrate the flesh directly but stop at the bone. By placing his hand between the cathode ray tube and the glowing screen, the X-ray can see on the shadow screen of the bone of his hand. (3) X-rays run in a straight line; unlike electrically charged particles, X-rays are not deflected by the magnetic field.

X-ray Rontgen’s findings contributed greatly to the progress of the medical world
In December 1895 X-ray wrote his first working paper on X-rays. His reports in a short time aroused attention and excitement.

Within a few months, hundreds of scientists carried out X-ray investigations, and within a year about 1000 work papers were published about the problem! One scientist whose investigation directly leaned from the findings of X-rays was Antoine Henri Becquerel. This person, even though his main intention was to investigate X-rays, found an important phenomenon about radioactivity.

In general, X-rays work when high-energy electrons hit the target. X-rays themselves do not contain electrons, but waves of magnetic electrons. Therefore basically he is similar to eye-visible radiation (ie light waves), except the wavelength of X-rays is much shorter. The most well-known use of X-rays – of course – in the field of dental treatment and diagnosis. Other uses are in the field of radiotherapy, where X-rays are used to destroy malignant tumors or prevent their growth.

X-rays are also widely used in various industrial purposes. For example, it can be used to measure the thickness of something or look for hidden damage. X-rays are also useful in many fields of scientific inquiry, ranging from biology to astronomy. In particular, X-rays present scientists with a large amount of information relating to atoms and molecular structures.

However, people should not overestimate the importance of X-rays. It is true, the use of X-rays brings many benefits, but one cannot say he has overhauled our entire technology, just as Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic evidence. Similarly, people cannot say the discovery of X-rays really is a fundamental importance in the theory of science.

Ultraviolet light (whose wavelength is shorter than that seen by the eye) has been known to people almost a century before. The existence of X-rays which have similarities with ultraviolet waves, unless the wavelength is still shorter – still within the framework of classical physics. Above all, I think it is worth placing the importance of X-rays under Becquerel, whose findings have more fundamental significance.

X-rays don’t have children, so he and his wife raised a girl’s child. In 1901 X-ray received the Nobel Prize in the field of physics, which for the first time was given to that field. He died in Munich, Germany in 1923.

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