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January 13, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(2):115. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460020051014

In an article in a new periodical1, Professor Trowbridge, of Harvard University, shows that the accidental or semi-accidental discovery by Roentgen of the rays that bear his name and thus immortalize him is still bearing fruits, and what it may lead us to is still in the future. One fact that is particularly suggestive is that certain salts of the element uranium and certain derivatives of pitchblende possess the property of giving off these rays, so far as to cause the lighting of fluorescent screens, the dissipation of electric discharges and rendering air and gases better conductors of electricity. They can also penetrate opaque substances and throw shadows of bones on photographic plates. These salts produce at least some of these effects when spread in the form of powder on cardboard, and hence the suggestion of far simpler methods of X-ray employment than those now in use. It would