Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born in Lennep, Germany, but moved to Apeldoorn, Holland as a child with his family, who were engaged in the cloth industry.

His early schooling was marred by his expulsion from a Utrecht school for a prank.

He obtained a mechanical engineering degree from the zurich Polytechnic School and his Ph.d from the University of Zurich in 1869 after submitting a thesis on gases.

He was appointed as a professor of physics at the University of Giessen from 1879-88.

Röntgen served in 1894 as rector of the University of Wurzburg, where he discovered X-rays.

He also made significant contributions to the understanding of light, the specific heats of gases, crystallography and piezoelectric materials.

On November 8, 1895 using Hittorf and Crookes vacuum tubes covered with black paper to study cathode rays (following up work by Menard and Hertz), Röntgen noticed the fluorescence of barium platinocyanide crystals next to his experimental apparatus; he immediately began experimenting with these new kinds of rays, which were obviously different from cathode rays (stream of electrons).

He determined that X-rays were invisible to the eye, penetrated a variety of objects , including his own hand, and could not be deflected by a magnet.
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen

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