Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (1845 - 1923)
On 8th November 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the X-ray by accident. During his experiments with cathode rays he found that a new ray, which he named “X-ray” passed through black paper.
At the time he was a professor of experimental physics and director of the Physics Institute in Würzburg. After further research, Röntgen published his discovery on 28 December, which was an immediate sensation. On 23rd January 1896 he presented his discovery during a public lecture at the Physical-Medical Society of Würzburg, where he made an X-ray of the hand of Albert von Kölliker in front of the audience.
In 1901, five years after the discovery of X-rays, the Nobel Prize Committee honoured Röntgen's achievement with the Nobel Prize for Physics. It was not going to be the last award in his career.
Roentgen even caught the imagination of the general public with the discovery of X-rays, which made the inner workings of the body visible for the first time.
Additional applications of X-rays are found in other natural sciences, in art, archaeology, in security technology and in the field of materials testing. In honour of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the rays he discovered are named after him in the German-speaking world and are known only as "Röntgenstrahlen".