Jim Al-Khalili TV - BBC Horizon - Wilhelm Rontgen - Ernest Rutherford - Henry Moseley - Thomas Edison
36,285. These rays were so inexplicable scientists didn’t know what to call them so they were named X-rays. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Atom: The Clash of the Titans
94,258. But the wizard still had a few tricks up his sleeve. In 1896 he [Thomas Edison] experimented with X-Rays and developed a fluoroscope. Horizon: The Wizard Who Spat on the Floor 1972
94,259. I was working with a Crookes tube covered by a shield of black cardboard. A piece of barium platino-cyanide paper lay on the bench there. I had been passing a current through the tube, and I noticed a peculiar black line across the paper ...
The effect was one which could only be produced in ordinary parlance by the passage of light. No light could come from the tube because the shield which covered it was impervious to any light known even that of the electric arc ...
I did not think I investigated ...
I assumed that the effect must have come from the tube since its character indicated that it could come from nowhere else ... It seemed at first a new kind of invisible light. It was clearly something new something unrecorded.
… There is much to do, and I am busy, very busy. Wilhelm Rontgen
94,260. If the hand be held between the discharge-tube and the screen, the darker shadow of the bones is seen within the slightly dark shadow-image of the hand itself ... For brevity’s sake I shall use the expression ‘rays’; and to distinguish them from others of this name I shall call them ‘X-rays’. Wilhelm Röntgen
94,261. The great object is to find the theory of the matter [of X-rays] before anyone else, for nearly every professor in Europe is now on the warpath. Ernest Rutherford
94,262. The whole subject of the X rays is opening out wonderfully, Bragg has of course got in ahead of us, and so the credit all belongs to him, but that does not make it less interesting. We find that an X ray bulb with a platinum target gives out a sharp line spectrum of five wavelengths which the crystal separates out as if it were a diffraction grating. In this way one can get pure monochromatic X rays. Tomorrow we search for the spectra of other elements. There is here a whole new branch of spectroscopy, which is sure to tell one much about the nature of an atom. Henry Moseley, letter to mother May 1913
94,263. We have now got what seems to be definite proof that an X-ray which spreads out in a spherical form from a source as a wave through the aether can when it meets an atom collect up all its energy from all round and concentrate it on the atom. It is as if when a circular wave on water met an obstacle, the wave were all suddenly to travel round the circle and disappear all round and concentrate its energy on attacking the obstacle. Mechanically of course this is absurd, but mechanics have in this direction been for some time a broken reed. Henry Moseley
94,264. X-rays ... I am afraid of them. I stopped experimenting with them two years ago, when I came near to losing my eyesight and Dally, my assistant practically lost the use of both of his arms. Thomas Edison 1903