Late 19th century Crookes Tube

This late 19th century Crookes Tube is similar to the one used by Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen in the experiments that led him to X-ray discovery in 1895. It can be seen in a showcase of The Science and Art of Medicine gallery - a part of The Science Museum in London (Exhibition Road).

During the 1870s Sir William Crookes studied the effects of passing electricity through partially evacuated tubes like this one. Rays were emitted from the cathode (a disc of aluminium in this tube). Later, these cathode rays were shown to be composed of electrons. Roentgen observed that a new kind of rays were emitted when the cathode rays struck the glass of the tube1.

  • Photos by ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#ihgroB acuL (August 2011), courtesy of the Science Museum.

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