X-Ray Scanning
Light, Sound and Waves

X-ray of an author

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

Mark Twain may have inadvertently been the subject of the first X-ray. A few months before Röntgen’s discovery, Nikola Tesla had used a Geissler tube (an early form of discharge tube) to take a picture of Twain. The tube had emitted X-rays, which had spoiled the plate before the cap of the camera had been removed, producing a photographic plate with an image of an adjusting screw. Following the news of Röntgen’s discovery, Tesla is reported to have smashed the plate on the floor exclaiming:  “Damned fool! I never saw it!”


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