Monday, September 15, 2008

Roentgen's X-ray Radiation

Roentgen's X-ray Radiation: In late 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-ray radiation. This discovery would eventually land him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. At the time, many people did not quite understand the magnitude of Roentgen's achievement. Yet it soon became clear that he had stumbled upon something vastly significant for the advancement of not only medicine, but also for science as a whole. Comprehending the physics behind such a discovery is mind-boggling, but then again, so is the physics behind most of mankind's everyday appliances like the microwave and the television. And that is one area where modern-day society is falling apart. Man is no longer required to possess a working knowledge of the complicated technologies that surround him on a daily basis. Fifty years ago, people understood how their cars operated. It was a typical father-son bonding experience to get out there and change the oil of the family Oldsmobile. Nowadays, changing the oil is a highly sophisticated process with strict environmental regulations due in large part to the increased use of computers in cars. When will the final straw break? When will man realize that the more he employs advanced technologies, of which only a select few understand, the more he will increase his chances of creating what Heidegger calls the "Supreme Danger?"

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