Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Röntgen, Wilhelm Carl (1845–1923)

Wilhelm Roentgen
German physicist who was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Physics, in 1901, “in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him.” This high-energy radiation, though at first known as Röntgen rays, became known as X-rays. Röntgen made his discovery in 1895 when by chance he noticed that a phosphor screen near a vacuum tube through which he was passing an electric current fluoresced brightly, even when shielded by opaque cardboard.

The röntgen unit is named after him.

Related category