THE X-RAY DISCOVERING
German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen is usually credited as the discoverer of X-rays because he was the first to systematically study them, though he is not the first to have observed their effects. He is also the one who gave them the name "X-rays", though many referred to these as "Röntgen rays" (and the associated X-ray radiograms as, "Röntgenograms") for several decades after their discovery and to this day in some languages, including Röntgen's native German, though "X-ray" overtook popular usage in English by 1980.
Hand mit Ringen (Hand with Rings): print of Wilhelm Röntgen's first "medical" X-ray, of his wife's hand, taken on 22 December 1895 and presented toLudwig Zehnder of the Physik Institut,University of Freiburg, on 1 January 1896
X-rays were found emanating from Crookes tubes, experimental discharge tubes invented around 1875, by scientists investigating the cathode rays, that is energetic electron beams, that were first created in the tubes. Crookes tubes created free electrons by ionization of the residual air in the tube by a high DCvoltage of anywhere between a few kilovolts and 100 kV. This voltage accelerated the electrons coming from the cathode to a high enough velocity that they created X-rays when they struck the anode or the glass wall of the tube. Many of the early Crookes tubes undoubtedly radiated X-rays, because early researchers noticed effects that were attributable to them, as detailed below. Wilhelm Röntgen was the first to systematically study them, in 1895.
The important early researchers in X-rays were Nikola Tesla, Ivan Pulyui, William Crookes, Johann Wilhelm Hittorf, Eugen Goldstein, Heinrich Hertz, Philipp Lenard, Hermann von Helmholtz, Thomas Edison, Charles Glover Barkla, Max von Laue, and Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.
German physicist Johann Hittorf (1824–1914), a co-inventor and early researcher...