A New Kind of Rays

  • Gerd Rosenbusch
  • Annemarie de Knecht-van Eekelen
Part of the Springer Biographies book series (SPRINGERBIOGS)


Röntgen entered the field of cathode rays research in 1894 after he had read a publication by Philipp Lenard . Since he was Rector of the University of Würzburg in 1894/1895, it was only after the summer of 1895 that he continued with his experiments. His first observation of the unknown rays was on 8 November. Three days after the submission on 28 December, he got already the reprints of his paper “Über eine neue Art von Strahlen. Vorläufige Mitteilung” [On a new kind of rays. Preliminary communication]. Already in the first week of January, the X-rays became big news. Röntgen was asked to give a presentation for the Emperor in Berlin, and he gave a public lecture in Würzburg. Röntgen gave only one extensive interview. It came out in an American magazine. In March 1896, he published an addition to his first paper. In 1897, his third and last publication on X-rays appeared. Other scientists, among them Lenard , claimed that they had discovered X-rays before Röntgen.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerd Rosenbusch
    • 1
  • Annemarie de Knecht-van Eekelen
    • 2
  1. 1.NijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.MaldenThe Netherlands

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