Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen – The Father of X-Ray
Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born March 27, 1845 in Lennepu, Germany. He was the only child in the family of textile manufacturers and traders.
When he was three, he moved to Apeldoorn, Netherlands with his family, where he attended Martinus Herman van Doorn. During the schooling he did not particularly emphasize. Nonetheless, he was extremely skilled in making mechanical inventions, which is a characteristic that will accompany him all his life.
He enrolled in secondary technical school in 1862 in Ultrecht. It was unjustly kicked out of the prosecution’s charge of drawing a cartoon of one of the professors. After that he tried to enroll at the University of Ultrecht to study physics. Since he did not have a high school diploma, he did not succeed in his endeavor. He went to Zurich at the faculty of polytechnics after he learned that the entrance examination was sufficient to pass the entrance examination. He successfully passed the entrance exam, after which he started the mechanics study. Röntgen attended lectures held by Clausius and worked at the Kundt’s Laboratory. Both have made an outstanding impact on Röntgen’s scientific development. He received his doctorate in 1869 at the University of Zurich, after which he became Kundt’s assistant.
The first scientific paper published in 1870 was concerned with gas temperatures, and two years later he published the work on thermal conductivity of crystals. Some of the other problems involved include electrical and other quartz characteristics, the influence of pressure on the breakdowns of various fluids, the variation in the role of temperature and the compressibility of water and other liquids and the phenomenon of propagation of water by the water. Despite this, the name of X-ray is primarily tied to his X-ray discovery.
Röntgen in 1895 studied the phenomenon that occurs during the passage of electricity through gas under extremely low pressure. This area has already been investigated by J.Plucker, J.W. Hittorf, C.F. Varley, E. Goldstein, Sir William Crookes, H. Hertz and Ph. Von Lenard. The work of these scientists has revealed the characteristics of cathodic air – generated by the passing of high current electricity through rare gases. X-rays on cathode ray led to the discovery of a whole new kind of air. On November 8, 1895, Röntgen discovered that if the outlet tube is closed with a thick black card and if it works in a darkened room, a paper plate with one side coated with barium-platinum cyanide and placed in the airway becomes fluorescent even when it is distant two meters from the outlet pipe.
After conducting additional experiments, he discovered that subjects of different thicknesses on the air path showed different degrees of transparency when captured on a photographic plate. After he immobilized his wife’s hand and set it in the air way in front of the photographic board, he noticed the shadows that were thrown by the bones and the ring that wore on his arms and the muscles that threw a weaker shadow due to the susceptibility of the air. It was also the first rendgenogram ever made.
In later experiments, Röntgen proved that new rays arise after the cathodic air collision with the material. As it was an unknown occurrence, X-raygen called them X-rays. Max von Laue and his students later proved that the rays of the same electromagnetic origin as the light, but differ by the higher frequencies vibrating. His X-ray revealed a number of awards and acknowledgments. Despite this, he remained extremely modest and withdrawn.
William Röntgen died on February 10, 1923, from colon cancer.