Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen: The Birth of Radiology

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This book, which will appeal to all with an interest in the history of radiology and physics, casts new light on the life and career of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, showing how his personality was shaped by his youth in the Netherlands and his teachers in Switzerland. Beyond this, it explores the technical developments relevant to the birth of radiology in the late nineteenth century and examines the impact of the discovery of X-rays on a broad range of scientific research.

Röntgen (1845-1923) was born in Lennep, Germany, but emigrated with his family to the Netherlands in 1848. As a 17-year-old he moved to Utrecht, entering the Technical School and living at the home of Dr. Jan Willem Gunning. In this well-educated family he was stimulated to continue his studies at university. In 1868 he received a diploma from the Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich and just a year later completed a PhD in physics. He followed his mentor, August Kundt, to the universities of Würzburg (1870) and Strasburg (1872) and married Anna Ludwig in 1872. In 1879 Röntgen gained his first professorship at a German University, in Giessen, followed by a chair in Würzburg in 1888. Here he discovered X-rays in 1895, for which he received the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901. From 1900 until his retirement in 1921 he occupied the chair of physics at the Munich University.

 

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Contents

Born for Business Raised for Science 18451865
1
A Future in Physics 18651875
13
Reliable Lecturer Conscientious Investigator 18751895
32
Enjoying the Company of Friends Hiking Hunting and Playing
63
A New Kind of Rays
79
Living the Life of a Celebrity 19001914
114
World War I Changes Everything 19141923
139
XRays Vista of Another World
153
Epilogue
171
Annex 1 On a New Kind of Rays
172
Annex 2 Dissertations and Habilitation Publication Supervised by Röntgen
183
Annex 3 Publications by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
186
Annex 4 Scientific Forefathers of WC Röntgen
193
Bibliography
196
Index
199
Copyright

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About the author (2019)

Gerd Rosenbusch, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Abdominal Radiology. He was born in 1934 in Stadtsteinach, a small town in Northern Bavaria, Germany. He received his training in radiology at the hospital of RWTH Aachen, Germany. After completing his specialization, he worked for a short period in a private practice and then moved in 1971 to Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. He was appointed Professor in Radiology in 1980 and retired in 1996. His interest in the history of radiology started many years before his retirement. Besides authoring publications on radiology, to be named is Kolon. Klinische Radiologie-Endoskopie (together with J.W.A.J. Reeders), he has been coeditor of several books on the history of radiology, especially in the Netherlands.

Annemarie de Knecht-van Eekelen, PhD, was born in 1945 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She studied biology in her hometown university and in 1984 received a doctorate in the history of medicine for her thesis Towards a rational infant feeding. The science of nutrition and paediatrics in the Netherlands 1840–1914. From 1991 to 1998 she taught history of medicine at the Free University of Amsterdam. Until 2007 she managed the international consultancy and training activities of Cito, Institute for Educational Measurement in Arnhem, the Netherlands. She has written over a hundred articles and several books on the history of medicine, including a history of radiology in the Netherlands.

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