Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen Facts

Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen Facts
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (March 27, 1845 to 10 February 1923) was a German physicist. In 1901 he earned first Nobel Prize in Physics "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him." In 2004 the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) named element 111, roentgenium, after him.
Interesting Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen Facts:
Roentgen was born in Lennep, Germany, and was the only child of a cloth merchant.
In 1848 the family moved to Apeldoorn, the Netherlands where he attended the Institute of Martinus Herman van Doorn.
In 1865 he entered the University of Utrecht but transferred to the Polytechnic at Zurich to study mechanical engineering.
In 1869 he earned his PhD from the University of Zurich and went to Wurzburg to work.
He published a paper on the specific heats of gases in 1870.
In 1875 he became a Professor in the Academy of agriculture in Wurttemberg.
In 1876 he became Professor of Physics at Strasbourg University.
His interest in problems in physics was broad and he studied the characteristics of quartz and the influence of pressure on the refractive indices of fluids.
In 1879 he accepted the post of chair of Physics at the University of Giessen.
Although he was invited to teach at many Universities, in 1900 he finally accepted the position as Chair of Physics at the University of Munich where he remained for the rest of his life.
He had family in Iowa and purchased tickets to immigrate to the United States but the outbreak of World War I changed his plans.
In 1895 he was studying the results of low pressure gas on an electric current.
He discovered that even though the experiment was conducted in a very dark room, a plate covered in barium platinocyanide became fluorescent.
He continued to experiment with the photographic plates and cathode ray tubes.
On November 8, 1895 he covered a thick glass tube in heavy black cardboard and generated an electric spark with a Ruhmkorff coil.
When he was preparing the next step of the experiment, he noticed a shimmering on the barium platinocyanide screen on his bench.
He thought this might indicate a new kind of ray and he continued his experiments.
In 1895 he placed his wife's hand between the discharge tube and the plate which showed her a sharper image of the bones of her hand and her ring and a fainter image of the rest of her hand.
This was the first "roentgenogram" or X-ray.
On December 28, 1895 he published "On a New Kind of Rays" in which he named them X rays.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, he received numerous honors for his discovery, including the Rumford Medal and the Matteucci Medal in 1896, and the Elliott Cresson Medal in 1897.


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