The Science of Existence (65-4-1) Wilhelm Röntgen

 Wilhelm Röntgen

In 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally created X-rays in the lab while experimenting with electron beams in a gas discharge (vacuum) tube. In the process, he accidentally founded radiology, by seeing an image of the bones of his hand illuminated by X-rays.

Not long on imagination or ego, Röntgen coined the term X-ray and stuck to it, even as the penetrating new rays would come to bear his name in several languages: Röntgen rays.

Röntgen died of intestinal carcinoma, but his X-ray work is not generally considered causal, because he was one of the few pioneers in the field who routinely used protective lead shields during experimentation.