The Discovery of X-Rays

The Discovery of X-Rays

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From the ancient time probably one of the most popular questions among people was how their bones re constructed, and how they are joned. Moreover, it was alsmost impossible for surgeons to identify where in the body bullets can be located and consequently a successful removement of it was equalized to magic. This situation continued until late 1895, when a German physicist, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, discovered X-rays, and as a result he invented a mechanism of filming human bones in a picture ( Tice 2007, 1).

W. Roentgen was an ordinary person, without a high school diploma and without having a name of extraordinary physicist ( The history of the X-rays 2003). However, he finished the Polytechnical School in Zurich, Germani. Then he was working as an assistant of Dr. August Kundt, who was known as famous theoretical physicist at that time, and after that he became a head of the physics department at the University of Wuerzburg. Roentgen was not a favorite teacher for his students, however, he was always bias to do practicalal parts of the studies. His wife was a chronical ill woman, and mostly he was sitting with her at home, so he was not very social person ( ibid).


The studies of W. Roentgen was based on cathode rays in Crookes tube and fluorescing screen, which were in use for almost several decades. However, the main point is that Roentgen focused on lights which are deflected outside of the tubes in dark room. He was wondering if the new rays from cathode propagated straight, as do cathode rays itself, or what was the defference between them. He also tried to investigate their reflection and refraction points. The used materials in the experiments were constructed by himself. After experementing six weeks in his laboratory, he came to conclusion that these new rays, called just X, was not refracted with water and carbon bisulphate in mica prism, also ebonite and glass lenses where useless. But with a help of ebonite and alliminium prism Roentgen was able to refract X-rays in photographic plates. After other experiments he noted that, these rays can easily pass through powdered rock salts, and zinc dust. The visible light can not through these materials, because of it refraction and reflection abilities. Finally Roentgen concuded that X-rays can hardly be refracted and reflected, they originated from cathode tubes bright fluorescine, and they are distinct from cathode rays by their insensibility to the magnets ( Assmus 1995, 13-15).

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W. Roentgen by using X-rays made a technology which can photogragh metallical subjects, and human bones, first his picture was his wife’s hand with wedding ring ( The history of the X-rays 2003). In 1901 he was awarded with The Nobel Prize in Physics ( The Nobel Foundation,2011).

After discovery of X-rays, they become widely used in medicine, for example in surgery, bone breaking situations, in diagnosis of kidney stones and cirrhotic liver, and in physics experiments. This inention had interested many scientist, and more descoveries based on X-rays have been done after that ( Assmus 1995, 17-18). Nowadays, we have X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XFS), which develops a quantum energy, and helps to found the relative abundant of elements. Moreover, X-ray microscopes can give a resolution of about 10µm, and consequently more detailed observations of materials can be done ( Tice 2007, 1). In addition, X-rays are now main components in tomography (Momose 2005, 6355)., which is generally used in measuring lungs residual capacity, and in heart ejection fractions (Aykroyd et al n.d).

To sum up, X-rays discovery is one of the greatest discoveries, which have given a sparkle in the science. This invention has saved several peoples lives, and has given an opportunity to develop new technologies. His inventor, W. Roentgen, was very hard-working person; his aspiration to succeed brought him an international fame and The Noble Prize. This is one more prove that everything depend on ourselves, inspiration , hard-working, the knowledge which is know available to us, give us a good opportunity to invent something new, and make our own contribute to the science.



Works Cited

Akroydi, G.R., R.M. Wests, S. Mengi, and R.A. Williams. n. d. Knowledge-based modeling for dynamic electrical tomography in medicine and process engineering. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=Knowledge-based+modelling+for+dynamic+electrical+tomography+in+medicine+and+process+engineering&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_ylo=&as_vis=0 (accessed online September 3, 2011).

Assmus, A. 1995. Early History of X Rays. http://www.slac.stanford.edu/pubs/beamline/25/2/25-2-assmus.pdf (accessed online September 3, 2011).


MLA style: "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1901". Nobelprize.org. 4 Sep 2011 http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1901/

Momose, A. 2005. Recent Advances in X-ray Phase Imaging. Japanese Journal of Applied Physics 44(9A): (6355). Informit online. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Recent+Advances+in+X-ray+Phase+Imaging&hl=en&btnG=Search&as_sdt=1%2C5&as_sdtp=on (accessed online September 3, 2011).

Tice, M. 2007.X- ray Technology Today: An overview. Spectroscopy.22 (7). 1. Informit online http://spectroscopyonline.findanalytichem.com (accessed online September 3, 2011).

The history of the X-ray. 2003. http://www.umw.edu/hisa/resources/Student%20Projects/Amy%20Miller%20--%20X-Ray/students.mwc.edu/_amill4gn/XRAY/PAGES/index-2.html (accessed online September 3, 2011).

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