HistoryWired About the Program Help Comments Smithsonian Institution
Back to Map

Enlarge

Roentgen's X-Ray Tube
1895

Where "x-rays" were discovered
This is one of the original hand-blown tubes Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen used in his experiments that led to the discovery of the ray. While working alone in his Wurzburg, Germany, laboratory on the evening of November 8, 1895, the physics professor was studying the penetration of cathode rays through different materials when he discovered new types of rays. Because they penetrated the glass wall of the tube and other materials, he knew they could not be cathode rays. He called them "x-rays." News of Roentgen's discovery spread rapidly, opening for scientists and physicians a rich new area for research and development. In 1901, he received the first-ever Nobel Prize for Physics. Roentgen did not profit financially from his discovery and died in poverty in 1923.

Notes
Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen, born March 27, 1845, Lennep, Prussia [now Remscheid, Germany]; died February 10, 1923, Munich, Germany
The first x-ray toy appeared in 1896; "x-ray glasses" are still sold.
Web display only

Learn more!
· Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen

What do you think?
Would you like to see more objects like this on the site? Tell others by casting your vote.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Fewer More


Start HistoryWired | About the Program | Help | Comments

Smithsonian Institution | Terms of Use | Privacy