An Important Scientific Advance during the 20th Century

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There were many different scientific advances during the late 19th century, but one specific scientific advance that I will be discussing is the discovery of physics through X-rays and radiation, which was discovered by Wilhelm Röntgen. After he published a paper on his discovery of X-rays in 1895, there was great study and research done by physicists such as: Antonie Henri Becquerel, Marie Curie, and Ernest Rutherford on radioactivity and the formation of radiation through x-rays. Although Wilhelm was credited for the naming of x-rays and creating the first working x-ray machine and x-ray pictures, every physicist after him had something new to add to what was previously discovered. First I will describe for you what x-rays and radiation are and some background vocabulary used in x-rays. Second I will tell why this advance was important and how it still impacts us today. Radioactivity is the spontaneous breakdown of an atom by emission of particles and/or radiation. Since then, any element that spontaneously emits radiation is said to be radioactive. The definition of radiation is the emission and transmission of energy through space in the form of waves. A wave can be thought of as a vibrating disturbance by which energy is transmitted. Waves are characterized by their length and height and by the number of waves the pass through a certain point in one second. A wavelength is the distance between identical points on successive waves. Wavelength is usually expressed in units of meters, centimeters, or nanometers. The frequency is the number of waves that pass through a particular point in 1 second. Frequency is measured in hertz (Hz). Last by not least, amplitude is the vertical distance from the midline of a wave to the peak.

X-rays are very fast moving, small energetic particles. There are three main types of rays that are produced by decay, or breakdown, of radioactive substances such as Uranium. Two of these three rays are deflected by...
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