The Discovery of X-Rays Essay

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The Discovery of X-Rays X-rays were discovered by accident in 1895 by the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen. Roentgen was already an accomplished scientist with forty-eight published papers. He had a reputation among the scientific community as a dedicated scientist with precise experimental methods. Roentgen had been conducting experiments at the University of Wurzburg on the effect of cathode-rays on the luminescence of certain chemicals. Roentgen had placed a cathode-ray tube, which is a partially evacuated glass tube with metal electrodes at each end, in a black cardboard box in his darkened laboratory. He sent electricity through the cathodre-ray tube and noticed something strange his laboratory. He saw a flash of light…show more content…
During an experiment he placed his hand between the source of the X-ray, the cathode-ray tube and a screen and saw the faint outline of the bones of his hand. It was the first X-ray picture. The more dense bone absorbed more X-rays then the less dense flesh producing an image of his hand. He soon learned that photographic plates were sensitive to X-ray as they are to light and was thus able to make the first X-ray photography. These first "Roentgen exposures" were of various metal objects that were locked in a wooden case and of his wife's hand. On December 2, 1895, Roentgen sent his paper titled, "Concerning a New Kind of Ray: Preliminary Report" to the Physical-Medical Association who published it in their 1895 volume of the minutes of the association. His report was soon published in several magazines around the world and in daily newspapers causing a tremendous stir. On January 23, 1896, about a year before the Invisible Man was published, Roentgen delivered his first public lecture on X-rays at the meeting of the Physical-Medical Association. During the lecture, he asked a well known anatomist to have his hand photographed using X-rays. The photo came out good and was passed around. The hall erupted in applause and cheers for Roentgen for everyone saw the practical uses of this new ray. Less than twenty days after the lecture, an X-ray machine was used in the United States to locate a bullet in a
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