On March 27, 1845 Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen was born in Lennep, Germany. He received his early education in the Netherlands and then studied under Clausius, teacher of Willard Gibbs, in Zurich, Switzerland. At Würzburg he became assistant to Kundt. In 1874 he became privatdozent at Strasbourg University. In 1875 Roentgen was made professor of mathematics and physics at the Agricultural Academy of Hohenheim. He returned to Strasbourg in 1876, where he became extraordinary professor. In 1879 he was appointed ordinary professor of physics and director of the Physical Institute of Giessen, and in 1885 he became professor at Würzburg. Here in 1895, at the age of 50, Roentgen discovered the x-rays.
In 1895, while experimenting with a highly exhausted vacuum tube (Crookes) on the conduction of electricity through gases, he observed the fluorescence of a barium platinocyanide screen which happened to be lying near. Further studies disclosed that this radiation
WILHELM KONRAD ROENTGEN—THE CENTENNIAL OF HIS BIRTH—SEMICENTENNIAL OF THE X-RAYS. JAMA. 1945;127(16):1056–1057. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860160032010
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