Ukrainian-born physicist Ivan Pawlowich Puluj is best known for his early investigations
on cathode rays and radiation. In 1877, he constructed a cathode ray tube (or lamp),
called “Puluj's tube”; subsequent refinements led to his creation of a vacuum tube
in 1879. By passing electricity through the tube containing rarified gas, Puluj produced
cathode rays (highspeed electrons). Between 1881 and 1882, he published reports on
cathode rays, and in 1883, he wrote an article about his vacuum tube. By 1886, he
had recorded his first photographic plate of the radiation phenomenon. In his 1889
experiments on electricity and gases, Puluj noted that photographic plates became
black when exposed to cathode rays. That same year, the Physical Society of London
published a translation of his monograph on cathode rays. Although Puluj essentially
produced x-rays from cathode rays focused on a photographic plate, he did not recognize
the emission as x-rays. German physicist Wilhelm Rántgen (1845-1923) is credited with
their discovery in Wiirzburg, Germany, on Nov. 8,1895, almost 7 years later.
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