The First Human X-Ray

The First Human X-Ray

Wilhelm Röntgen was a German physicist who discovered and experimented with x-rays in the late 18th century. He called them x-rays because their properties were a mystery—the "x" stood for "unknown."

03:46

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    X-rays have waves that are a longer than gamma rays, but shorter than visible light. (0:33)

  • 2

    Early x-rays released far more radiation than current technology, causing skin ailments, burns, and death. (1:25)

  • 3

    Today's x-rays release small, typically negligible amounts of radiation. (2:25)

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