Weeks after Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen published about the development of his X-ray machine, a physicist and a hospital director in Maastricht, The Netherlands, built their own version of the device. Recently, this 115 year old machine was taken out of deep storage, dusted off, and made to work again.
Wired science reports:
Aside from a modern car battery and some wires, the researchers used only the original equipment, including an iron cylinder wrapped in wire to transfer electrical energy from one circuit to another and a glass bulb with metal electrodes at each end.
The glass bulb, technically called a Crookes tube, contained a tiny bit of air, about a millionth of normal air pressure. When the researchers placed a high voltage over the tube, the electrons in the gas were ripped from their atoms and zipped across the tube from one electrode to the other.
Electrons naturally emit X-rays when they speed up, slow down or change direction. When the electrons hit the glass walls of the Crookes tube, they came to a screeching halt, giving off a ghostly green glow and invisible X-rays.
Read on at Wired…
(hat tip: Scope blog)