1896 X-ray by Pupin

1895 - William Roentgen at the University of Wurzburg in Germany on Nov. 8 discovered electromagnetic rays he called "X" rays were emitted from a cathode ray tube when high voltage was applied in a vacuum. He observed that such rays could make the bones of a hand visible under the flesh. He published his findings in a scientific paper on Dec. 28, "On A New Kind of X-Rays," that was reported Jan. 5, 1896 in the newspapers. Roentgen's paper was read by Michael Pupin at Columbia University in New York. Pupin had earned his Ph.D. at the University of Berlin in 1889, and was aware of the important discoveries being made in Europe at this time. On Jan. 2, 1896, he made the first radiograph in America and began experiments to reduce the time of exposure. Pupin became known as the Father of American Radiology. By June, doctors were making radiographs of wounded soldiers to locate bullets.

1896 - French physicist Henri Becquerel reported similar kinds of invisible rays were emitted from unranium ore.

1897 - J. J. Thompson at Cambridge announced the discovery of the first subatomic particle, the electron.

1897 - The New York Journal published a full-page photograph of an X-ray of a boy who had swallowed a button. William Randolph Hearst had been reporting the discoveries of Thomas Edison, and had written Edison to continue his experiments with flouroscopy, but Edison stopped his experiments when his lab technicians became ill.

1898 - Marie Curie in France used an electrometer device invented by her husband Pierre to measure uranium rays, and concluded the rays were caused by the atomic properties of uranium atoms. In April she invented the word "radioactivity" to describe the properties of the elements of uranium and thorium, and in December discovered the new elements of polonium and radium.




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