German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered X-Rays


German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered X-Rays featured image - on that day

Date : 1895-November-08

Country : Germany

Description :

On November 8, 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered X-Rays. He became the first person to observe X-rays. This is a significant scientific advancement, and it gives benefits to a variety of fields such as medicine, by making the invisible things visible.

Here, Röntgen noticed that when he shielded the tube with heavy black cardboard, the green fluorescent light caused a platinobarium screen nine feet away to glow. As per his understanding, this was too far away to be reacting to the cathode rays. He determined the fluorescence was caused by invisible rays originating from the Crookes tube, which he used to study cathode rays. It penetrated the black paper wrapped around the tube. Röntgen identified this new type of ray was capable of passing through human flesh but not higher-density substances such as bone or lead from further experiments. But he could get photographs of higher-density substances. He named the rays X-rays because of their unknown nature.

X-rays are electromagnetic energy waves. Also, these rays act similarly to light rays but at wavelengths approximately 1,000 times shorter than those of light. X-rays became an important diagnostic tool in medicine quickly and for the first time, they allowed doctors to see inside the human body without surgery. The first time X-rays were used on a military battlefield, during the Balkan War, to find bullets and broken bones inside patients in 1897. But initially, scientists were slower to comprehend the harmful effects of radiation. Several years later cases of burns and skin damage were reported after exposure to X-rays. Then, scientists considered the risks of radiation more seriously, but they still weren’t fully understood. However, at present X-ray technology is widely used for medicine. Also, it is used for material analysis and devices such as airport security scanners.

Category : Innovation


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