​X-rays – Mystery rays

X-rays – A part of the electromagnetic spectrum, with wavelengths shorter than visible light.

X-rays were named by the scientist who discovered them in 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, although he was actually German so he named them ‘X-strahlen’ with ‘strahlen’ meaning ‘rays’. The ‘X’ was borrowed from algebra where it is used to represent an unknown quantity, Röntgen used the ‘X’ because he didn’t know the exact nature of the rays.

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