Nina Welding | December 18, 2015
Taken by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895, the first X-ray produced was of his wife’s hand. Roentgen received the first Nobel Prize in physics for his work, but his discovery of X-ray beams also changed the medical profession far more than that simple black-and-white image might have suggested. The beams he used, higher in frequency than ultraviolet light but lower in frequency than gamma rays, revolutionized the medical profession, allowing physicians to see inside a patient’s body to more readily diagnose disease and injury.
In short, Roentgen laid the foundation for diagnostic radiology. Within six months of his discovery, surgeons on the battlefield were using X-rays to locate bullets in wounded soldiers. Since that time they have continued to be used — for non-invasive imaging in biomedicine, non-destructive testing of materials, security screening and more. As the technology has advanced, so has the clarity and accuracy of the X-rays.