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Eine neue Art von Strahlen [wrapper title]. Offprint from Sitzungs-Bericht der physikalisch-medicinische Gesellschaft zu Würzburg, no. 9 (1895).
Würzburg: Verlag und Druck der Stahel'schen K. Hof- und Universitäts-Buch und Kunsthandlung, 1895. First edition, a fine copy of the very rare offprint. The discovery of X-rays was the most important contribution to medical diagnosis in a century, and a key to modern physics. "While performing experiments with a Crookes vacuum tube, a type of cathode-ray tube, Röntgen observed that some agent produced in the tube was causing barium platinocyanide crystals to fluoresce. Upon investigation he found that the fluorescence was caused by unknown rays (which he named "x-rays") originating from the spot where cathode rays hit the glass wall of the vacuum tube. He announced his discovery in the present paper, which described the rays' photographic properties and their amazing ability to penetrate all substances, even living flesh. Although he was unable to determine the true physical nature of the rays, Röntgen was certain that he had discovered something entirely new, a belief soon confirmed by the work of other scientists such as Becquerel, Laue and the Curies. For his discovery, Röntgen was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for 1901" (Norman). "Their importance in surgery, medicine and metallurgy is well known. Incomparably the most important aspect of Röntgen's experiments, however, is his discovery of matter in a new form, which has completely revolutionized the study of chemistry and physics. Laue and the Braggs have used the X-rays to show us the atomic structure of crystals. Moseley has reconstructed the periodic table of the elements. Becquerel was directly inspired by Röntgen's results to the investigation that discovered radioactivity. Finally J.J. Thomson enunciated the electron theory as a result of investigating the nature of the X-rays" (PMM). "The discovery by Professor Röntgen of a new kind of radiation from a highly exhausted tube through which an electric discharge is passing has aroused an amount of interest unprecedented in the history of physical science" (J.J. Thomson, 'On cathode rays,' Report of the Sixty-sixth Meeting of British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1896). "It was this separate printing, and the following four additional printings in five issues, that were primarily responsible for the rapid dissemination of the news of Röntgen's discovery" (Klickstein, Röntgen, p. 62). "On Friday evening, 8 November 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen remained long hours in his laboratory and was late for dinner
      [Bookseller: SOPHIA RARE BOOKS]
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