Wilhelm Roentgen Facts: World Radiography Day

Wilhelm Roentgen Facts: World Radiography Day

World Radiography Day is celebrated as the anniversary of the discovery of the x-radiation (x-rays) by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895. Radiographers worldwide use the date 8th November every year as the World Radiography Day as an opportunity to promote radiography as a career.  Over the years, while many inventions in the industry have taken place and played vital contribution in the modern healthcare, radiography as technology is promoted on the day as it presents an opportunity to increase public awareness of diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy.

The inventor who revolutionised the healthcare industry with the technology, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen was the German mechanical and physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays or Röntgen rays. The achievement that is the foundation of the novel technology earned the man with a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901.

  • Having His Element: The visionary had an element named after him by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). In 2004, IUPAC named element 111 after the visionary as roentgenium, a radioactive element with multiple unstable isotopes.
  • Born in Germany, the inventor was born to Friedrich Conrad Röntgen, a German merchant and cloth manufacturer, and Charlotte Constanze Frowein and a mother from Dutch nationality.
  • After moving to Holland at a young age of 3, Röntgen attended high school in Utrecht, Netherlands; Utrecht Technical School. But an interesting fact is that he was unfairly expelled from high school when one of his teachers intercepted a caricature of one of the teachers that were originally done by his fellow student.
  • A Scientist without a diploma? After being expelled, Röntgen was left without a high school diploma and searched for a university to attend. He approached the Utrecht University without having the necessary credentials required for a regular student in 1865. After being acknowledged about the fact that he could enter the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich (today known as the ETH Zurich), he passed the entrance examination and began studies there as a student of mechanical engineering.
  • Graduated in 1989 with a PhD from the University of Zurich, he was known to become the favourite student of German Scientist and Professor August Kundt, whom he followed to the University of Strasbourg.
  • He became a lecturer at various universities over the following years while in 1874, Röntgen became a lecturer at the University of Strasbourg, in 1875, he became a professor at the Academy of Agriculture at Hohenheim, Württemberg. In 1876 he returned to Strasbourg as a professor of physics.
  • Appointed to the chair of physics at the University of Giessen in 1879, he also obtained the physics chair at the University of Würzburg, and in 1900 at the University of Munich, by special request of the Bavarian government.
  • In 1895, the scientist studied cathode radiation. The process includes the application of electrical charge to two metal plates inside a glass tube filled with rarefied gas. He noticed a faint light on light-sensitive screens that happened to be close by, even when the apparatus was screened off. The man further investigated and identified the cause which was penetration, a previously unknown type of radiation.
  • Penetrating is a degree to which the x-rays have passed through the body. With higher energy than light, the x-rays can pass through most objects including the human body which led to becoming a powerful tool for physical experiments and examining the body’s interior.
  • Although the visionary scientist passed on 10 February 1923 in Munich, Germany, his contribution has continued to revolutionise the healthcare industry.

Related links: Top Technological Innovations in 2019

Technological Advancement in Pharma Industry

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