Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, German physicist, at his workbench, 1906.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photogravure of Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (1845-1923) at his workbench. Roentgen discovered X-rays, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. He found that they pased through flesh, enabling the bones to be clearly seen. They showed as shadowed areas whereas metal objects would give an opaque shadow. The rays travelled in a straight-line and pased through card, but could be detected by photographic plate or fluorescent screen.