26. X Rays

X Rays is an important and indispensable tool in modern medical diagnosis. But it was not sought to become such a tool. In fact the very discovery of X rays was a lucky accident!

German Physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen was studying Cathode Rays-the fluorescent stream of electrons-now widely used in everything from television to fluorescent bulbs.

It had been proved already that Cathode Rays can penetrate thin pieces of metal and thin sheets of aluminum. Rontgen was investigating Cathode Rays with a fluorescent screen and a Crook’s Tube completely covered with black card board, in his darkened laboratory.

He observed a glow appearing on the fluorescent screen kept several feet away! Were the Cathode Rays passing right through the black cardboard to illuminate the screen kept far away?

Further investigations proved that the new rays emerging from Crook’s Tube were completely different from Cathode Rays. Rontgen named the new rays as X rays-since it was an unknown type of radiation!

X Rays can penetrate through solids and pass through human body recording the images of the denser bones on a photographic plate.

Rontgen discovered the medical possibilities of this ray quite by another incident. He saw the picture of his wife’s hand on a photographic plate caused by the X rays.

It was the first ever photograph of a human body part with X rays! Now X Rays has become the most trusted medical investigation tool!

In 1901,Rontgen was awarded Nobel prize for the discovery of X Rays.

As told by Louis Pasteur,”Chance favors the prepared mind”. Rontgen had prepared his mind and kept it open for new possibilities. That is why he could discover the X Rays!

Visalakshi Ramani


2 Responses to 26. X Rays

  1. KSS Rajan says:

    What an excellent heading you have given Madam,It is indeed a lucky accident

    • Dear Sir,
      I love words which fit together and create an unusual effect.
      You may see it in most of the subheadings of this blog.
      Flightless Birds, Desert Blossoms, The Lucky Accidents to name a few.
      Do these qualify to be called as oxymoron? I am not very sure! 🙂
      Welcome to visit my website for an assortment of blogs on varied subjects and in two languages!

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