Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (March 27th 1845 with Lennep (today a district of Remscheid), Germany - February 10th 1923 with Munich) is a German physicist . He discovered the x-rays, which was worth to him to receive the first Nobel Prize of physics in 1901 after having received the Médaille Rumford in 1896.
BiographyPhysicist, born with Lennep in Germany. He studied with Zurich, and became professor of physics to Strasbourg (1876-1879), to Giessen (1879-1888), Würzburg (1888-1900), and with Munich (1900-1920). In 1895 he discovered the electromagnetic rays which he called X-rays, for which he received the first Nobel Prize of physics in 1901.
Its studies, the professorOnly sons of Friedrich Röntgen, manufacturer of textile and Charlotte Constanze Frowein, it is born the March 27th 1845 with Lennep, in the current commune of Remscheid (Rhineland-of-North-Westphalia, Germany). At 3 years, its family moves with Apeldoorn with the Netherlands, land native of her mother, for economic reasons. It enters to the institute of Martinus Hermann van Doorn, a boarding school. Although it does not seem to have any particular aptitude, it likes nature and the walks in forests, it seems very gifted to manufacture mechanisms, predisposition which it will keep all its life.
In 1862, allowed at the technical training school of Utrecht, it is expelled by it: it is shown to be the author of a caricature of one of its professors. In 1865, it studies the Physique with the Université of Utrecht. It does not have the level to be student regular: it then passes the examinations of entry to the federal polytechnic school of Zurich to study in mechanical engineering. The teaching of its professors Kundt and Clausius will mark it. In 1869, it supports its thesis of physics and becomes the assistant of Kundt. It follows it towards Würzburg and three years later towards Strasbourg.
The January 19th 1872 with Apeldoorn, it marries Anna Bertha Ludwig, girl of a cabertier of Zurich which it had met in the establishment held by his father. They do not have children but adopt in 1887 Josephine Bertha Ludwig, the 6 year old girl of the brother of Anna.
In 1874, it is university lecturer at the university of Strasbourg and in 1875, it is promoted professor with the academy of agriculture of Hohenheim in the Bade-Wurtemberg. In 1876, it goes back to Strasbourg as professor of physics and three years later it accepts the Chaire Physique of the Université of Gießen.
Its workThe first article of Röntgen is published in 1870 about the “Specific heat of the Gaz” and is followed a few years later by an article on the “thermal conductivity of the crystals”. He studies other fields of physics, such as the electric properties and other characteristics of the crystals, the influence of the Pression on the Index of various refraction Fluide S, the modification of the plans of the polarized Lumière by influences magnetic S, the variation of the functions of temperature and compression of water and other fluids and the phenomena which accompany spreading out by oil on water.
The name of Röntgen will be however mainly associated with its discovery with rays which it names the “itself X-rays”. In 1895, it studies the phenomenon of the passage of an electric current through a gas under low pressure. Experiments in this field had already been achieved by J. Plücker (1801-1868), E. Goldstein (1850-1931), Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), H. Hertz (1857-1894) and pH. von Lenard (1862-1947). Work of Röntgen on the Cathode rays brings it to discovered of a new type of rays.
First x-rayThe evening of the November 8th 1895, Röntgen observes that with the discharge of a tube, completely coated with black paperboard, sealed to exclude from it any light and this in a darkroom, a covered paperboard on a barium platino-cyanide side becomes fluorescent when it is struck by the emitted rays of the tube, and this until a distance of two meters. During subsequent experiments, it places various objects between a photographic plate and the radiation source and it realizes that they have a variable transparency. It tests then with the hand of his wife placed on the course of the rays. With the development, he realizes that the image is in fact the shade of the bones of the hand of his wife, his alliance being visible there. The bones are surrounded by a half-light which represents the flesh of the hand, the flesh is thus more permeable with the rays. It is the first “Röntgenogram”. Following other experiments, Röntgen notes that the new rays are produced by the impact of the cathode rays on a material object. Because their nature is still unknown, it gives them the name of “x-rays”. Later, max von Laue and its students will show that they are of electromagnetic nature, just like the light, and differ only by one plus high frequency.
This discovery causes in the researchers a sharp emulation, which will lead in France to the business of the Rayons NR.
Honors and recognitions
Röntgen was famous of sound living and after his death. In several cities of the streets bear its name. It had several prices and medals like several honorary doctorates. He was honorary member several companies in Germany and elsewhere; the list of all its distinctions is long. Despite everything these honors, Röntgen remained a humble and hesitant man. All its life it preserved its love for nature. It passed the majority of its estival holidays to Weilheim, the foot of the the Bavarian Alps, where it accommodated his friends, and made excursion in mountain. He was a good mountain dweller, and he has some times be in perilous situations during the practice of this activity. He was pleasant, courteous and always seemed to be concerned with comprehension and opinions of the others. Obstructed to have an assistant, he preferred to only work. He built the majority of the apparatuses which he used, sometimes with a great ingeniousness and a great talent of experimenter.
- In 1914, it was one of the signatories of the Manifeste of the 93.
- Biography on the site of the foundation Nobel
- Deutsches Röntgen-Museum
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