Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen (27 March 1845 – 10 February 1923) was a German physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as x-rays or Rontgen rays.

In 1865, he tried to attend the University of Utrecht without having the necessary credentials required for a regular student. Hearing that he could enter the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, by passing its examinations, he began studies there as a student of mechanical engineering. In 1869, he graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich. At the University of Zurich he was a favorite student of Professor Kundt whom he followed to University of Strabburg in 1873. Rontgen's original paper, "On A New Kind Of Rays", was published 50 days later after his discovery on 28 December 1895. On January 5th 1896, an Austrian newspaper reported Rontgen's discovery of a new type of radiation. Rontgen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Wurzburg after his discovery. He published a total of 3 papers on X-rays between 1895 and 1897.


Did you know

Today, Rontgen is considered the father of diagnostic radiology, the medical specialty which uses imaging to diagnose disease.

Wilhelm Rontgen

Portrait of Sir Wilhelm Rontgen, first scientist to discover x-radiation (x-ray).