William Conrad Roentgen

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1901)
William Conrad Roentgen (1901)

William Conrad Roentgen (* 27. March 1845 in Lennep (today quarter from rem-separate); † 10. February 1923 in Munich) was a German physicist. He was the discoverer after himX-ray designated and first Nobelpreisträger in the year 1901. Its discovery revolutionized and. A. the medical diagnostics and led 20 to further important realizations. Jhdt., z. B. the discovery and study of the radioactivity.

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the birth house by William Conrad Roentgen

asonly child of the cloth manufacturer Friedrich Roentgen and its Mrs. Charlotte Constanze, geb. Frowein, became William Conrad Roentgen in the house of its parents, at the goose market 1 in Lennep, a today's quarter of rem-separates, to 27. March 1845 born. For economic reasonsthe family pulled 1848 after Apeldoorn in the Netherlands.


from 1861 to 1863 visited Roentgen the technical school in Utrecht. For disciplinary reasons, because it erroneously held for the author of a caricature of its chief instructorbecame, one referred it without Abitur of the school.


nevertheless studied Roentgen from 1865 to 1868 without Abitur at the Swiss federal technical university in Zurich. This was possible, there it because of its good certifications thoseat the there polytechnic institute otherwise usual strict entrance examination remained saved. There it received its diploma to 1868 as a mechanical engineer. In the following time it accomplished a structure study in physics at only six years older August Kundt. To 22. June1869 attained a doctorate to Roentgen at the University of Zurich in physics with „studies over gases “.


thereafter it accompanied 1870 August Kundt as an assistant after peppering castle and published there, in „the annals of physics and chemistry “, itsfirst scientific paper.

To 19. January 1872 he married Anna Bertha Ludwig, the daughter inhabitants of zurich of a restaurant operator/barkeeper, in Apeldoorn.

At the university Strasbourg received Roentgen to 13. March 1874 its Habilitation, it the University of peppering castle before because ofits missing Abitur had refused. Starting from 1875 it worked in an extraordinary Professur for physics and mathematics at the agricultural academy in high home. When desired its former academic teacher and promoter Kundt took over Roentgen starting from 1876 the likewise extraordinaryProfessur for physics in Strasbourg. By his appointment 1879 on a tidy Professur in pouring Roentgen in its scientific career received for the first time a firm salary.

1887 accepted Roentgen and his wife a six-year niece later,by them one adopted.

Röntgenbild einer Fersentrümmerfraktur mit Verplattung
Radiograph of a heel rubble german type with blow-out

at the 1. October 1888 it was appointed to the Ordinariat for physics in peppering castle and selected there 1893 as the rector of the university. Of the 1. April 1900 was Roentgen at that on University of Munich as a professor actively.

William Conrad Roentgen was 1901 the first Nobelpreisträger for physics

„as acknowledgment of extraordinary earnings/services, which he acquired himself by the discovery of the jets designated after him “.

It donated the 50,000 crowns prize moneythe University of peppering castle. Likewise Roentgen did without a patenting of his experiment, whereby its Roentgen apparatus of fast spreading found.

Family grave on old cemetery in pouring

old age

1919 died after long and serious illness of X-raying woman. In the same year becameit appointed the honour member of the German physical society. Of its activity as a professor at the university Munich it became at the 1. April 1920 emeritiert.

To 10. February 1923 died William Conrad Roentgen at the age of 77 years at intestine cancer in Munich. It is buried due to its testamentary desire on the old person cemetery in pouring.

humans William Conrad Roentgen

William Conrad Roentgen

Conrad Roentgen are described as introvertierter humans, to only few the onedeeper entrance found. Stepping out features were its modesty and its sense of justice. If Roentgen were deepened into his scientific work, it could adjust itself only heavily to other humans. Thus probably its wife was faced with repeatedly her silent man,to questions did not even react. Its he compiled scientific results with highest perseverance and carefulness. It did not publish anything that was not in all directions secured. Its lectures remained always material also after its large discovery. Even the first publicDemonstration of the again discovered jets in January 1896 in peppering castle was coined/shaped by the Schlichtheit and modesty of X-raying. Its discovery could be used by its renouncement of patenting rapidly for medical purposes. Recovery found Conrad Roentgen preferential since its study timein the alps or with the hunt. Before its death Roentgen's undertook migrations still briefly into Swiss mountains. In its last Lebensjahren the Bible ranked among the most important reading of the gläubigen Protestanten, who engaged itself never actively politically.

scientific work

Roentgen monument in pouring

William Conrad Roentgen published 60 scientific work in its career.
He wrote its first scientific work as 20-year old. Here it concerned a chemistry Repetitorium to a standard work of the chemistry professor J. W.Gunning. Already at this work the ability of X-raying is to be recognized to arrange as well as well schematize various facts clearly, in order to exclude mistakes in such a way.

In many of his work busy itself Roentgen with the areas of the thermal - and electrodynamics,with which it examined in special electrical discharges under different conditions. However its largest interest applied for the crystal physics, because their aesthetics and beauty fascinated it.

Radiograph: Albert von Koellikers hand, taken up of Conrad Roentgen to 23. January 1896

1876,during its Strassburger time, he compiled the proof together with Kundt over the turn of the polarization plane of the light in gases. This proof was already looked for in vain by Michael Faraday and other one, whereby Roentgen did not only furnish the proof, but for thisto submit knew also precise measurements.

When professor at the University of peppering castle discovered Roentgen 1895 the X-jets, which were renamed later in the German linguistic area under ignoring the will in X-ray. This discovery happened coincidentally, as to 8. November 1895an experiment with a cathode ray tube to shine began a particularly coated paper. In addition, this shining was to be still recognized then, when the Entladungsröhre was enclosed with thick black pasteboard. It is however unknown whether it really the blackened paperit was which led Roentgen to the X-jets, or whether a fluorescent screen stood in the proximity, on whom the radiation became visible.

In the future by January 1896 Roentgen wrote three scientific research reports to this discovery. The first report carriedthe title „over a new kind of jets “and into many languages one translated.

the message


a scientific discovery never before spread effect and aftereffect Roentgen museum Lennep as fast as in case of the X-ray, becausealso for laymen the usefulness „of the X-jets was directly understandable “in the medicine. X-raying discovery revolutionized however not only the medical diagnostics, but made possible also further, innovative scientific achievements 20. Century. Already in February 1896 Henri Becquerel experimented, inspired by Roentgen, with luminescences materials and encountered thereby from coincidence the penetrating effect of a new kind of radiation. Thus the discovery of the X-ray led indirectly also to the discovery of the radioactivity, for the Becquerel as well as Marie curie was distinguished 1903 with the Nobelpreis. The medical diagnostics remained to today the most important area of application of the X-ray. The radiation dose could be ever further lowered in the course of the time, at the same time became the photographs ever more highly detailed. By use mathematicallyProcedures leave themselves today three-dimensional illustrations of the inner body received (computer tomography). Apart from application in the medicine X-ray help in addition, with the study Mikrokosmos (Roentgen microscope) and with the study of the universe (Roentgen spectroscopy).

Further one important areas of application lie in the testing of materials, where itself e.g. Defects in metals or incorrect welding seams with the help of the Roentgen technology (X-ray inspection) to find leave. As an irony of the fate it must therefore appear that calculated the ICE „William ConradRoentgen “ at the 3. June 1998 with Eschede due to a material fatigue had an accident and 101 humans into death tore.

In honours of X-raying except the jets discovered by him also the unit Roentgen become outdated meanwhile was designated after it. Likewise 111.chemical element Roentgenium. Many schools, roads and places in Germany carry likewise its names. From cause of the 100-jährigen of anniversary of the Nobelpreises organizes the city rem-separate since 2001 on each last Sunday in October the Roentgen run. To the honour of its achievementsfurthermore the Asteroid (6401) was designated Roentgen after it.


  • Hans easy: William Conrad Roentgen, Ehrenwirth, 1994, ISBN 3431033547
  • Ulrich Hennig: William Conrad Roentgen, Umschau book publishing house, 1994, ISBN 3524691080
  • Norbert lot sow: Roentgen - a discoverychanges our life, vgs, 1995, ISBN 3802513053
  • Angelika Schedel, Gundolf wedge: The view into humans. William Conrad Roentgen and its time, Urban & Fischer publishing house, 1997, ISBN 3541195010
  • walter Beier: William Conrad Roentgen, Teubner publishing house, 1999, ISBN 3815425026
  • Albrecht Fölsing: William Conrad Roentgen. Departure the inside the subject, dtv, 2002, ISBN 3423308362
  • Dieter Voth: In the hunters way. William Conrad Roentgen. Researcher and hunter, hedgehog, 2003, ISBN 3896211595

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