Warum heißen Röntgenstrahlen im Englischen X-Rays?

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Röntgen nannte die von ihm gefundenen Strahlen selbst X-Strahlen. Die Bennenung nach dem Entdecker kam erst sehr viel später. Im englischen ist man halt bei X-Ray gebieben. Es ist auch nicht unhöflich dem Entdecker gegenüber seine eigene Nomenklarur zu verwenden.

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Weil Röntgen die Strahlen nicht kannte, daher X (in Mathe auch unbekannte Variable). So: X-Ray.

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Herr Röntgen selbst nannte seine Entdeckung X-Strahlung. Auf English dann eben X-ray.

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FLATOW: X-rays. It's used in science fiction all over the place. Why do we call them X-rays?

Dr. MARKEL: Well, it's a great story. You know, it takes a lot of history. But, you know, it's the most - one of the most important technologies in the history of science and medicine because it allows doctors to really look into the, you know, lift up the hood and look at the engine while it's still running and not do a lot of invasion.

But really, around 1895, electrons and electricity was all the rage. And there was a physicist, William Roentgen, who was working in Wurzburg, who was playing with a cathode tube. And this particular tube had a thin aluminum window that allowed these electronic beams to escape. And he was playing around in his lab, covering the cathode tube with black cardboard and noticed that there were several beams escaping several feet away to a nearby lab bench, and was hitting a screen that he was also going to use to test against these waves that was made out of barium platinocyanide. And, lo and behold, it glowed in the dark.

It was a eureka-like moment. He locked himself in his laboratory, stayed there for six weeks, except for meals and I imagine to go to the bathroom. And then he found that these newly discovered beams would pass through opaque objects and the effected photographic film he put underneath it. And photographic film was a very common thing in laboratories at that time. It was used to document phenomenon. And first, it was, you know, a set of weights and then a piece of metal and, most famously, it was the bones of his wife's hand.

FLATOW: Ah, that famous picture with the ring on it.

Dr. MARKEL: Yeah, his wife. It was December 22, 1895.

FLATOW: And so how did the name X-ray come out of it?

Dr. MARKEL: Well, X was a very common thing to - for unknowns. And a lot of scientists were using that for unknown phenomenon. But where that really comes from - Roentgen, of course, was a physicist. He was very skilled in mathematics. And while he may not have been a Cartesian philosopher, he was almost certain to have read Rene Descartes' 1637 text "Geometry," which is a very important geometry text. And it was Descartes who actually introduced the terms X and then followed by Y and Z...

Quelle: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127932774

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Das ist eine Wortschöpfung des Entdeckers Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen und würde für die von ihm entdeckte Strahlung in Englische übernommen.

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