Picture of Wilhelm Roentgen
The Bettmann Archive
Wilhelm Roentgen was a German physicist who lived between 1845-1923. His accidental discovery of x-rays in 1895 revolutionized the fields of physics and medicine, and won him the first Nobel Prize.
X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation whose wavelength is smaller than visible light. They are very penetrating and pass through dense objects that absorb ordinary light. In one of his experiments, Roentgen passed x-rays through his wife's hand and was able to see her bone structre.
Today, we use x-rays as diagnostic tools in medicine, to locate bone fractures and breaks, cancerous tumors, and tooth cavities.
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