X-Rays and their Biological Effects

Wm. H. Love


X-Rays were discovered by the celebrated Bavarian physicist Wilhelm Rontgen in November, 1895. During the few years following the discovery there was considerable speculation as to the nature of the rays, but an intensive study of their main physical properties soon showed them to be similar to ordinary light in all respects except that the wavelength was very much smaller. In fact, we now know that the recently discovered cosmic rays, which probably have their origin in the depths of space, the gamma rays from radium, X-rays, ultra-violet light, visible light, infrared rays and radio waves are all electro-magnetic or other waves, travelling in straight lines through space with a velocity of 3 x 1010 cms/sec. Since the velocity is the same for all these types of radiations it is to the values of the wavelengths that we turn in order to explain the differences between them, and it is indeed here that they lie.

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