Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen


Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Biography - On That Day

Profession : Physicist and Mechanical Engineer

Born : 1845-March-27

Birthplace : Lennep, Remscheid, Germany

Nationality : German


Biography :

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was a German physicist. Also, he was a mechanical engineer. He earned the first Nobel Prize for Physics in 1901 for his discovery of X-rays. On November 8th, 1895 Röntgen produced and detected X-rays or Röntgen rays. This was electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range. This discovery revolutionized diagnostic medicine. It is a significant scientific achievement and gives benefits to a variety of fields such as medicine.

His father was Friedrich Conrad Röntgen, a German merchant and cloth manufacturer and his mother was Charlotte Constanze Frowein. At age three of Röntgen, his family moved to Holland. He entered high school at Utrecht Technical School in Utrecht, Netherlands. But Röntgen was unfairly expelled from high school in 1865. Without a high school diploma, he could only attend to the University of Netherlands as a visitor. Therefore, he passed the entrance examination to enter the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich and started his studies as a student of mechanical engineering. Then, he graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 1869. After, he worked as a professor of physics at the universities of Strasbourg (1876 - 1879), Giessen (1879 - 1888), Würzburg (1888 - 1900), and Munich (1900 - 1920). He studied elasticity, the capillary action of fluids, specific heats of gases, conduction of heat in crystals, absorption of heat by gases, and piezoelectricity through his research.

Röntgen married Anna Bertha Ludwig in 1872 and spent their married life until her death in 1919. The first Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Röntgen for the recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays called X-rays. To honor Röntgen's accomplishments, in 2004, a very radioactive element with multiple unstable isotopes was named as element 111, roentgenium by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The unit of measurement of this element was also named after him.


Died : 1923-February-10

Cause of Death : Cancer

Place of Death : Munich, Germany