APS News

We Know, We Know… He's German

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
PhotoCredit: heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/ Images/rosat/rontgen.gif
Pictured here is Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the discoverer of X-rays and the winner of the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. He was born in Germany, and educated in Holland and Switzerland. He spent his career in Germany, most notably at the Universities of Würzburg and Munich. His career and achievements were correctly described in the "This Month in Physics History" column of November, 2001. However, we falsely identified him as British in the opening sentence of "This Month in Physics History" for November, 2004. This was an inexplicable error that must have been caused by a mysterious infestation of gremlins, who were also undoubtedly responsible for another error in the same column: Allan Cormack and Godfrey Hounsfield received the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, not for Physics. Both mistakes have been corrected in the online version of the column in the archives.

We thank Kurt Busch, Hristo Hristov, Rainer Weiss, Robert Weinstock, Jim Napolitano, Stan Kocimski, Klaus Rieckhoff, Yongkang Chen, Joe Wong, Yong Kong, Wolfgang Eisenmenger, Rudolf Huebener and Udo Pernisz for pointing out these errors. We also thank an indeterminate number of other readers who stifled the impulse to tell us that they, too, had detected our abysmal lack of historical accuracy

APS encourages the redistribution of the materials included in this newspaper provided that attribution to the source is noted and the materials are not truncated or changed.

Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette