Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
(1845 - 1923)
Edited by Eugene R. Moutoux
|As a professor of physics, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen directed his research efforts to various areas of his discipline, including heat, light, and elasticity. In 1895, while investigating cathode rays, he observed that the conduction of electricity through a vacuum tube caused a nearby fluorescent screen to glow, even though the tube was completely enclosed in a material opaque to ordinary light. His further investigations disclosed that the strange penetrative rays, which Röntgen called X-rays, could pass more easily through some materials than through others. He was able to see and to photograph the bones of the hand because these bones, of greater density than the flesh, allowed fewer rays to pass through and thus cast a darker shadow on a fluorescent screen placed behind the hand. News of the discovery brought immediate fame to Röntgen, who found himself sought out by reporters and well-wishers. Because he forewent any exploitation of the newly-found rays, they became the common property of science, technology, and medicine. In 1901 Röntgen received the first Nobel Prize for physics.|
Answer in German.
1. Warum hat Röntgen seinem Freund nicht früher geschrieben?
2. Warum kann Röntgen die Spekulationen Zehnders noch nicht verwenden?
3. Weiß Röntgen, ob die X-Strahlen longitudinale Lichtstrahlen sind?
4. Was gilt für ihn wissenschaftlich als die Hauptsache?
5. Ist seine Arbeit von allen Seiten anerkannt worden? Äußern Sie sich genauer dazu!
6. Was hatte Röntgen seiner Frau von seiner Arbeit erzählt?
7. Wann reagierte die Presse auf Röntgens Arbeit?
8. Haben die Zeitungen Röntgens Arbeit prezise berichtet?
9. Wieviel Arbeitszeit kostete der Tumult Röntgen?
Unreal conditions: Fill in the blanks as indicated.
1. Wenn Zehnder kein guter Freund __________________ (had been), ________ er früher einen Brief von Röntgen __________ (would have received).
2. Röntgen ________ wahrscheinlich dieSpekulationen Zehnders __________ (would have used), wenn sie einwurfsfrei __________ ________ (had been).
Passive voice: Fill in the blanks as indicated. Translate the sentences.
1. Von den Spekulationen Zehnders ________nichts __________ ________ (was able to be used).
2. Eine der Natur nach unbekannte Hypothese ________ nicht durch eine nicht völligeinwurfsfreie Hypothese __________ ________ (must ... be explained).
3. Die Entdeckung Röntgens ________ schonvon vielen Seiten __________ (was being acknowledged).
4. Am 1. Januar ________ die Separatabzüge__________ (were sent off).
5. Anfangs ________ keinem etwas _________ ________ (had been said).
6. Vieles ________ falsch __________ (was reported); aus demPhotographieren ________ die Hauptsache __________ (was made).
|D. Express in German.
1. In this letter Röntgen thanks a friend for his attempt to explain the nature of X-rays; however, the explanation does not convince Röntgen.
2. Moreover, for him, the facts about X-rays (and not speculations) are the main thing, and these facts have found recognition among well-known scientists.
3. At first Röntgen had told no one about his work with X-rays; people would have said that he had gone crazy.
4. Then, on January 1, he sent the news of his discovery to the press.
5. Such a storm followed that Röntgen was unable to work for four weeks.
|Suggestion for oral discussion: Röntgen visits a local elementary school and responds to the questions of several young students about X-rays.|
|The new X-Strahlen quickly captured the imagination of the German public. The above scene from a postcard shows skeletons frolicking at the beach.|
|Return to German Letters, title page.|