How Roentgen discovered his rays

In November 1895, the German physicist Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen conducted an experiment to study the luminescence caused by cathode rays. To enhance the effect, he placed a cathode ray tube and a luminescent substance in a black cardboard box and shut the windows in the laboratory tightly. Turning on the cathode ray tube, Roentgen suddenly saw a flash of light in the other half of the room. It turned out that the light came from a sheet of paper coated with barium platinumcyanide, a luminescent substance. Roentgen was very surprised and turned off the cathode-ray tube - the glow disappeared. He switched on the receiver again - the glow appeared again. Then he transferred the paper to another room - it continued to glow. It became clear to the scientist that a certain form of radiation had arisen in the cathode ray tube, capable of penetrating not only through cardboard, but also through walls. Roentgen had no idea about the nature of these rays, so he called them X-rays (X-rays). Roentgen studied X-rays for about a year and published three articles about them, in which there was an exhaustive description of the new rays, subsequently hundreds of works of his followers, then published over 12 years, could neither add nor change anything significant. Roentgen, who had lost interest in X-rays, told his colleagues: "I have already written everything, do not waste your time." Already other scientists began to call them X-ray. For their discovery, Roentgen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. Interestingly, the X-ray photograph of the hand made the greatest impression on the scientists. In Russia, the rays began to be called "X-rays" on the initiative of VK Roentgen's student, Abram Fedorovich Ioffe.