Look inside the body
The discovery of X-rays ushered in clinical imaging - and made the extremely powerful process of computed tomography possible.
When Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovered X-rays in November 1895, he had no idea what a dramatic leap he was helping medicine to take. He had powered a cathode ray tube, and phosphorescent paper next to it suddenly lit up. A short time later he used the rays to depict the hand bones of his wife Anna Bertha as a silhouette on a fluorescent screen. In early 1896, Roentgen presented his discovery to the Physical-Medical Society in Würzburg and this time X-rayed the hand of Albert von Koelliker, the Society's honorary president. Koelliker was greatly impressed by the sight of his own bones and, as an anatomist and physiologist, not only recognized that changes in the skeleton could be visualized through this, but also that this meant a paradigm shift in medicine.
Since then, the "X-rays", as they were called in German at Koelliker's suggestion (in English they are still called "x-rays"), have established themselves worldwide as an extremely important means of medical diagnostics - not only in Examinations of the bone apparatus, but also of the lungs, breast, teeth, gastrointestinal tract, heart or blood vessels …