Monday, November 8, 2010

On November 8

On this day ...
... 1895 (115 years ago today), the X-ray was discovered by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen. Researching cathode rays with a group of scientists, the German physicist found that in a dark room, objects placed in the rays' path could be captured on film. Experiments continued. A month later, when he immobilized the hand of his wife, Bertha (right),
in the path of the rays over a photographic plate, he observed after development of the plate an image of his wife's hand which showed the shadows thrown by the bones of her hand and that of a ring she was wearing, surrounded by the penumbra of the flesh, which was more permeable to the rays and therefore threw a fainter shadow.
"When she saw her skeleton she exclaimed 'I have seen my death!'" The discovery revolutionized the practice of medicine; for it, Röntgen won the 1901 Nobel Prize in physics.

(Prior November 8 posts are here, here, and here.)

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