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Wilhelm Roentgen
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Scientist
    (March 27, 1845-February 10, 1923)
    Born in Lennep, Germany
    Discovered x-rays (1895)
    Won the first Nobel Prize for physics (1901)
    Element 111 was named roentgenium in his honor (2004)
    He was expelled from school.
    He planned to emigrate to the US and had accepted a position at Columbia University, but the outbreak of World War I forced him to change his plans.
    In his will, he ordered his lab notes destroyed, resulting in conflicting accounts of how he discovered x-rays.
    After he took an x-ray of his wife's hand and she saw her skeleton, she exclaimed, 'I have seen my own death!'
    X-rays quickly became an important diagnostic tool.
    He was one the few pioneers studying radioactivity to routinely use lead shields for protection.
    He refused to take out a patent on x-rays.
    He donated the monetary award from his Nobel Prize to the University of Munich.

Credit: C. Fishel


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