open access

Vol 67, No 1 (2017)
Other materials agreed with the Editors
Published online: 2017-08-24
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Sir William Crookes (1832–1919) Biography with special reference to X-rays

Richard F. Mould
DOI: 10.5603/NJO.2017.0013
·
Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2017;67(1):79-88.

open access

Vol 67, No 1 (2017)
History of oncology
Published online: 2017-08-24

Abstract

Sir William Crookes was one of the most famous scientists towards the end of the 19th and in the early 20th centu­ries and even today, his face with its waxed moustache is easily recognisable among scientists, (Fig. 1). His name is forever associated with the Crookes tube, a gas discharge tube used for the production of X-rays. He is also famous for being one of the few men who had actually produced X-rays in an experimental environment, but who never recognised them as such. He could have preceded Röntgen in the discovery of X-rays by some 15 years! He was a physicist, chemist and inventor, discovering the metal thallium in 1861 and devising the radiometer as a measu­ring device, and the spinthariscope. He used radium to study the artificial changes in colour of diamonds. Towards the latter part of his life he became interested in spiritualism and in some circles lost a certain amount of credibility because of this interest. He received many honours, including the 1907 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, President of the Royal Society and a knighthood.

Abstract

Sir William Crookes was one of the most famous scientists towards the end of the 19th and in the early 20th centu­ries and even today, his face with its waxed moustache is easily recognisable among scientists, (Fig. 1). His name is forever associated with the Crookes tube, a gas discharge tube used for the production of X-rays. He is also famous for being one of the few men who had actually produced X-rays in an experimental environment, but who never recognised them as such. He could have preceded Röntgen in the discovery of X-rays by some 15 years! He was a physicist, chemist and inventor, discovering the metal thallium in 1861 and devising the radiometer as a measu­ring device, and the spinthariscope. He used radium to study the artificial changes in colour of diamonds. Towards the latter part of his life he became interested in spiritualism and in some circles lost a certain amount of credibility because of this interest. He received many honours, including the 1907 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, President of the Royal Society and a knighthood.

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Keywords

Sir William Crookes, Crookes family genealogy, thallium, X-rays, Crookes tubes, Maltese cross X-ray tube, mercury air pumps, radiometer, Hermann Sprengel, Johann Geissler, Julius Plücker, Johann Hittorf, Michael Faraday, Antoine-Henri Becquerel, discovery

About this article
Title

Sir William Crookes (1832–1919) Biography with special reference to X-rays

Journal

Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology

Issue

Vol 67, No 1 (2017)

Article type

Other materials agreed with the Editors

Pages

79-88

Published online

2017-08-24

DOI

10.5603/NJO.2017.0013

Bibliographic record

Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2017;67(1):79-88.

Keywords

Sir William Crookes
Crookes family genealogy
thallium
X-rays
Crookes tubes
Maltese cross X-ray tube
mercury air pumps
radiometer
Hermann Sprengel
Johann Geissler
Julius Plücker
Johann Hittorf
Michael Faraday
Antoine-Henri Becquerel
discovery

Authors

Richard F. Mould

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